Corral throws five TD passes as Rebels roll

Published 12:05 am Sunday, September 12, 2021

OXFORD (AP) — Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral insists he does not play favorites when it comes to picking receivers.

“I really don’t. I go through my progressions and make my reads,” Corral said after throwing for five touchdowns – four in the first half – as No. 20 Ole Miss routed FCS member Austin Peay 54-17 on Saturday night. “There’s really not a favorite. We’ve got receivers that can make plays … It’s hard for the defense to figure out who to take away.”

Ole Miss (2-0) added a defensive touchdown on a strip sack and 33-yard fumble return from defensive end Sam Williams and a safety from the special teams to build a 37-0 second quarter lead over the Governors (1-1) of the Ohio Valley Conference.

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“We were coming off a short week with the Monday win with Louisville,” Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin said. “For one full day of practice and coming off a physical game, I thought our starters played pretty good.”

Corral finished 21-of-33 for 281 yards and had two other potential touchdown passes dropped during a lopsided first half. Corral guided two series in the third quarter, building a 51-10 lead on a 40-yard touchdown pass to Jonathan Mingo and a 3-yard run by Snoop Conner, before yielding to three reserves in the final 25 minutes.

“The fast start was important,” Corral said. “It’s a lot of little things that if you do them right, they compound into big things, like touchdowns. We’ve still got some things to clean up but we got the job done.”

Dontario Drummond and Mingo had two touchdown receptions apiece, covering 1, 49, 15 and 40 yards, respectively. Drummond caught six passes for 107 yards, and Mingo had seven receptions for 99 yards. Braylon Sanders added an 11-yard touchdown reception before Caden Costa closed the scoring with a 26-yard field goal.

The Rebels finished with 631 yards of total offense.

“I had a lot of fun out there,” Drummond said. “Matt and I have been clicking in practice, but all the receivers feel comfortable with Matt throwing the ball.”

Draylen Ellis was 22-of-41 passing for 226 yards for Austin Peay, including a 30-yard touchdown to Baniko Harley. The Governors had 374 yards to total offense and added a 30-yard field goal from Maddux Trujillo and a 40-yard scoring run by CJ Evans Jr. in the second half.

The Governors are ranked No. 17 and No. 18, respectively, in two Top 25 FCS polls.

“I didn’t see any fear in our players and I’m really proud how we competed,” Austin Peay coach Scotty Walden said. “Ole Miss is a Top 25 team for a reason. We had over 400 (374) yards, sustained drives, but we’ve just got to cap it off with points. It’s all about the points.”