There was a point in time that Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral was neck-and-neck with Bryce Young of Alabama in the Heisman Trophy race. We’ve since seen him take a bit of a step back in a lot of sportsbooks as far as the odds are concerned. Corral hasn’t seemed quite as explosive as he’s looked at other points in the season as of late, though it should definitely be noted that he’s also dealt with his share of injury issues lately, and the way he’s fought through them has been admirable.
In his last game, a 27-14 win over Liberty, Corral completed 20-of-27 passing attempts for 324 yards with one touchdown and zero interceptions, carrying the ball six times for nine yards. While Corral was limited as far as scoring and using his legs go, this was an improvement in some aspects for him and the team over when he completed 21-of-37 passes for 289 yards with one interception and one rushing touchdown when Ole Miss lost 31-20 to Auburn the previous week.
Both games served as a step forward where total passing yardage is concerned, as Corral completed 19-of-24 passes for 186 yards with one passing touchdown and one rushing touchdown in the 31-17 victory over LSU in October.
Despite the fact he seemed to still be limited in some ways in the Liberty game, the deep ball and his ability to evade pressure were on display, as was his accuracy that he’s been so commended for all season (as the 74.1% completion percentage in this game would suggest):
Corral was asked this week about playing through injury with the start of his NFL career just around the corner and said that he’s “not injured” and “just hurt” and that it was something that he felt both he and his teammates knew he could play through.
“There’s a fine line of the position I’m in right now… I just think it wasn’t one of those things where I needed to step back and not play this game… I didn’t want to set that example for the younger guys,” Corral said. “And (my teammates) know they have got to help me out even more because I’ve only got one leg.”
It will be interesting to see how things continue to progress for Corral from the standpoint of playing hurt as well as being in the Heisman Trophy race and in the race for top quarterback prospect in a topsy-turvy 2022 NFL Draft class.
Ole Miss has a huge game coming up on the schedule that could be a big win for the Rebels as a team and serves as a good chance for Corral to continue increasing his draft stock as the No. 11-ranked Texas A&M Aggies travel to Oxford. It’s one of the toughest games Ole Miss has played all season and one of the toughest remaining on the schedule, with Vanderbilt and Mississippi State to follow to wrap up the regular season.