Rapid Reaction: Ole Miss rallies for wild win over Kentucky in OT
Styles make fights, and Saturday’s contrast in Lexington couldn’t have been more glaring.
Kentucky’s run game vs. Ole Miss’ wide-open attack, last team with the ball wins.
As the stat sheet and scoreboard reflected, neither defense felt comfortable as the Rebels rallied for a 42-41 victory in overtime, Lane Kiffin’s first in his return as an SEC head coach.
Matt Corral hit Elijah Moore for the tying TD in overtime. Luke Logan’s extra-point won it.
What a win it was, too.
Ole Miss rallied from a 14-point deficit to force overtime, rallied again when Kentucky scored first in the extra frame. But the Cats missed the extra point, giving Ole Miss an opportunity to win it.
Kentucky, which blew a 14-point lead, fell to 0-2 and now has serious questions to address, from its quarterback play to why it went away from the run game that was working so well. The Wildcats had 3 players top 100 yards rushing and scored all 5 of their TDs on the ground.
Ole Miss, which evened its record at 1-1, looked like an offense with a plan instead of a team in Game 2 with a new system, new coordinator and new head coach. It has all kinds of momentum and confidence entering next week’s showdown against Alabama.
It’ll need all of that scoring moxie, too, to keep pace with the Tide, but those are stories and worries for next week.
Saturday belonged to Corral, who threw for 330 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Trailing 28-14 early in the 3rd quarter, Ole Miss answered, leaning on its preferred method: through the air.
Corral was 4-for-4 for 75 yards, the final 24 coming on a pass to Jonathan Mingo to pull within 28-21.
How did UK respond? With 4 consecutive rushing plays that netted 58 yards to cross midfield. The drive stalled when Wilson was sacked and then had a possible TD pass dropped. Complicated issues, Matt Ruffolo missed a 49-yard field goal attempt.
Ole Miss seemed to pull within 28-27 when Snoop Connor bulled over from the 2-yard line, but the call was reversed. On 4th-and-goal from the 1, Kentucky stuffed Jerrion Ealy for no gain to preserve the lead.
Ole Miss forced a quick punt and went back on the attack. Corral finished a 54-yard drive with a 16-yard touchdown strike to Mingo to tie the score.
The Rebels took their first lead on their next possession. Again, Corral did the bulk of the work to set up Conner’s 1-yard TD run to make it 35-28 midway through the 4th quarter.
For the first time in a long time, Ole Miss had Kentucky’s offense where it wanted — trailing and needing to throw. Wilson took advantage of soft coverage to move the Cats into scoring position, and Rodriguez tied it at 35 on a 1-yard TD run with 2:04 left.
It stayed that way until overtime.