Matt Corral Shines as No. 17 Ole Miss Knocks Off No. 13 Arkansas in SEC Thriller

Doric SamOctober 9, 2021

Mississippi quarterback Matt Corral (2) runs for a first down during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Arkansas, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Oxford, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

In a battle of Top 20 SEC teams, No. 17 Ole Miss made a statement with a 52-51 win over No. 13 Arkansas at home in a back-and-forth shootout. The Razorbacks had the chance to win the game at the end of regulation but failed to convert a two-point attempt.

The Rebels were led by quarterback Matt Corral, who accounted for four touchdowns in the victory. It's Ole Miss' first win against an AP-ranked opponent since 2017.

Saturday's win was a much-needed bounce-back performance for the Rebels, who were coming off a 42-21 loss to No. 1 Alabama last week.

Notable Performers

Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss: 14-of-21 for 287 YDS, 2TD; 15 CAR, 94 YDS, 2 TD

Snoop Conner, RB, Ole Miss: 12 CAR for 110 YDS, 3 TD

KJ Jefferson, QB, Arkansas: 25-of-35 for 326 YDS, 3 TD, INT; 20 CAR for 85 YDS, 3 TD

Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas: 7 REC for 136 YDS, TD

Matt Corral Strengthens Heisman Case

Matt Corral entered Saturday's game with the second-best odds to win the Heisman Trophy, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. After his performance against the Razorbacks, Corral only boosted his case to be at the ceremony December 11.

Corral was outstanding in the second quarter, accounting for all three of the Rebels' touchdowns. He got things started with a five-yard rushing score. He followed that with a 67-yard bomb to Dontario Drummond, who was wide open thanks to a busted coverage.

ESPN College Football @ESPNCFB

Matt Corral ➡️ Dontario Drummond 67-yard TD 🔥 <a href="https://t.co/vZBDeSVvw5">pic.twitter.com/vZBDeSVvw5</a>

Ole Miss decided to go for a two-point conversion, and Corral kept it himself. He survived a kick to the face to tie the game.

PFF College @PFF_College

Matt Corral took a karate kick to the face <br><br> <a href="https://t.co/4h3pT4GMo9">pic.twitter.com/4h3pT4GMo9</a>

Corral then pushed Ole Miss in front with a seven-yard touchdown run, breaking tackles and diving toward the goal line.

ESPN College Football @ESPNCFB

Matt Corral dives for the TD to put Ole Miss in front 🙌 <a href="https://t.co/ttZiiHaBXS">pic.twitter.com/ttZiiHaBXS</a>

Corral's first-half performance was a continuation of his stellar play this season.

Nick Suss @nicksuss

Through 18 quarters, Matt Corral has thrown 11 TDs, ran for 9 TDs, has 1,563 yards of total offense and hasn't thrown an INT. <br><br>Not bad.

Corral also made some big plays down the stretch of the game. With the score tied in the fourth quarter, Corral unleashed a 59-yard dime to Braylon Sanders, who made a diving catch at the 1-yard line. Snoop Conner scored the go-ahead touchdown for the Rebels on the next play.

Pro Football Network @PFN365

Matt Corral has entered the QB1 discussion<a href="https://t.co/F3RkCHoT6U">pic.twitter.com/F3RkCHoT6U</a>

Arkansas managed to tie the game again late in the fourth quarter, but Corral showed that he has ice in his veins. He found Sanders again down the sideline for the go-ahead score.

Ole Miss Football @OleMissFB

AIR. IT. OUT. <a href="https://t.co/fsD0vzxlqz">pic.twitter.com/fsD0vzxlqz</a>

With Corral leading the way, Ole Miss entered Saturday's game averaging 549.3 yards of offense. The Rebels finished with 611 total yards in Saturday's win.

Four finalists for the Heisman Trophy will be announced December 6. If Corral continues to play like he did Saturday, he will be sure to be among the names in contention for college football's most coveted individual prize.

Arkansas Receiver Treylon Burks Shines

The Razorbacks are known for having a strong run game, and they had a strong showing again Saturday with 350 yards.

But Arkansas may have a diamond in the rough on its offense. Wide receiver Treylon Burks was outstanding despite limited opportunities. Burks made only seven catches but finished with 136 yards and a touchdown.

It wasn't just Burks' receiving numbers that jumped off the page, but also the timeliness of his big plays. With his team trailing in the second half, Burks stepped up with back-to-back long receptions that set up a game-tying touchdown.

PFF College @PFF_College

TWO PLAYS<br><br>TWO INSANE TREYLON BURKS CATCHES<br><br> <a href="https://t.co/F8Wf3TSQV9">pic.twitter.com/F8Wf3TSQV9</a>

With the Razorbacks playing from behind again, Burks then found the end zone himself to help tie the game once again.

ESPN @espn

ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!<br><br>Treylon Burks with the TD reception to tie it up 😯 <a href="https://t.co/vORBgwmZJp">pic.twitter.com/vORBgwmZJp</a>

It was the third 100-yard game of the season for Burks. Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson attempted 35 passes compared to 58 total rushing attempts for the Razorbacks.

With a weapon like Burks on the outside, Arkansas might benefit from having a more balanced attack. Burks and Jefferson have a good rapport with each other, so getting the passing game going early could be a key for the Razorbacks going forward.

What's Next?

Ole Miss will travel to face Tennessee next Saturday in an SEC matchup. Arkansas will return home to face its third straight ranked opponent in No. 18 Auburn.


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