Rapid Reaction: Matt Corral, Elijah Moore, Scottie Phillips lift Ole Miss to win over Arkansas
Matt Corral looked plenty more comfortable running the Ole Miss offense this week, as his ability to ad lib created opportunity for the Rebels.
By halftime, Corral was 10-for-17 passing for 145 yards and a TD. He also had 6 rushes for 40 yards. But his creativity cost the Rebels with a fumble early in the second half.
While it got hairy at times for the Rebels, they leaned on the offensive production of Corral, Elijah Moore and Scottie Phillips. Corral threw 2 TDs to Moore, and Phillips added 2 scores himself as Moore and Phillips combined for more than 270 offensive yards in a 31-17 win over Arkansas.
Being an Arkansas-Ole Miss game, there was no shortage of excitement, and twists and turns along the way.
The Arkansas offense struggled, and had just five first downs by late in the first half, started 2-for-7 on third down, and just 31 yards rushing on 13 carries. For the second straight week, Arkansas used 2 quarterbacks, but when Nick Starkel entered to start the second half, the offense didn’t have a productive drive. The Razorbacks had a penalty that forced them inside their own 10-yard line, then couldn’t convert a third down at the 15.
Starkel rallied and appeared to have a 38-yard touchdown pass to Trey Knox, but it was called back for a penalty. That came after Starkel had a pass to Mike Woods go for a 14-yard loss. Ultimately, Arkansas tried a fourth down and 2 play, but Rakeem Boyd was stopped short of the first down marker.
Ole Miss responded with a methodical 8-play, 71-yard scoring drive capped by a Phillips 1-yard TD run to give the Rebels a 2 touchdown lead. Five plays into the next Arkansas drive, Devwah Whaley fumbled near midfield.
But just when Arkansas was about to be written off, the Razorbacks forced a fumble by Ole Miss’ Octavious Cooley, and it was recovered by Kamren Curl for a 69-yard TD with 13:31 remaining to cut the deficit to one score.
Corral and Moore connected for a second time, this time on third down near midfield as Moore caught a pass over the middle and weaved through the Arkansas defense for a 46-yard score.
At one point, the yardage difference was Ole Miss 231-84. Ben Hicks began 5-for-13 passing for 52 yards. An inspiring drive at the end of the half was led by Hicks, who made a 49-yard pass to Trey Knox, and scrambled for six yards on third down. But Connor Limpert hooked a 43-yard field goal attempt to end the scoring hope.
Corral initially found Moore in the first quarter for a 2-yard TD as he rolled out to the right to cap an 85-yard drive in 13 plays.
Starkel had better numbers for Arkansas as he cleared 200 yards passing with a late TD, than Hicks, who had 98 yards on 7-of-16 passing.
Ole Miss played most of the game without LB MoMo Sanogo, who was carted off the field with an ankle injury in the first quarter.