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Ole Miss beats Arkansas in SEC opener

OXFORD (AP) — Matt Corral threw for 246 yards, including a pair of touchdown passes to Elijah Moore, and Ole Miss defeated Arkansas 31-17 on Saturday to win its Southeastern Conference opener for the first time since 2015.

Corral finished 16-of-24 passing, with Moore accounting for scoring receptions of 2 and 46 yards, as the Rebels (1-1, 1-0 SEC) rolled up 483 yards of offense — including 237 on the ground.

Scottie Phillips added scoring runs of 1 and 26 yards and finished with a game-high 143 yards rushing. Corral added 46 rushing yards. and Snoop Conner had 42.

Moore caught seven passes for 130 yards and two TDs, a 2-yarder in the first quarter and a 46-yarder in the fourth. The latter gave the Rebels a 24-10 lead with 11:09 left in the game.

Phillips’ 26-yard TD run with 6:03 remaining made it 31-10.

The offensive production was a marked difference from a week ago, when the Rebels had 173 total yards in a 15-10 loss to Memphis.

“Even the first drive we looked more comfortable and we didn’t look out of sync,” said Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke. “I just think we looked more comfortable. I’m just really happy to see such a big jump from Matt (Corral) from week one to week two.”

The defense had 13 tackles for loss, including three sacks, led by Jacquez Jones with 13 tackles.

Arkansas (1-1, 1-0) stayed within striking distance at 17-10 in the third quarter on a 69-yard fumble return for a touchdown from Kamren Curl. Quarterback Nick Starkel, who replaced Ben Hicks in the second half, had a 6-yard touchdown pass to Koilan Jackson in the final two minutes.

Rakeem Boyd led Arkansas with 67 rushing yards on 17 carries. As a team, the Razorbacks finished with 61 yards.

Starkel was 17-of-24 passing for 201 yards, with one touchdown and one interception.

“We really were concentrating on stopping the run,” Ole Miss defensive coordinator Mike MacIntyre said. “Boyd’s a really excellent runner and we really never let him get started.”

Oxford Eagle sports writer Nathanael Gabler contributed to this report