Ole Miss scorches the record book in throttling of Vanderbilt

Published 7:25 pm Saturday, October 31, 2020

NASHVILLE — It was all treats and no tricks for Ole Miss on All Hallows’ Eve.

The Rebels offense found its rhythm and rewrote the record book on Saturday in its 54-21 throttling of Vanderbilt at Vanderbilt Stadium.

Matt Corral surpassed Eli Manning while Elijah Moore continued to pile up records of his own. There was not much of anything the Commodore defense could do about it, especially after the 21-0 start after the Rebels’ first three possessions.

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The victory was a shot of confidence into the arm of Ole Miss (2-4, 2-4 Southeastern Conference), who finally head into their bye week before hosting South Carolina on Nov. 14. The Rebels rattled off three-straight losses, including two close ones to Arkansas and Auburn in as many weeks.

“A good win after a couple disappointing weeks, especially last week,” said Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin. “Vanderbilt was healthy, had some time off and I wasn’t sure what they were going to do. …Matt and Elijah were lights out. Good to see that. Good to see (John Rhys Plumlee) come in and do some things and get Elijah back on track.”

The start to the game was a perfect one for Corral, who completed his first 19 pass attempts of the game. The mark set a new school record for most consecutive completions in a game, passing Manning’s 18 completions set against Murray State in 2001. Corral also passed Kent Austin’s mark of 15, for the most consecutive completions in an SEC game.

Another Manning went down on Saturday with Corral finishing with a 91 percent completion percentage (31-of-34). That is a new school record for completion percentage in a single game with a minimum of 30 attempts.

The sophomore quarterback also tied Manning’s record for most touchdown passes in a game with six. Corral’s was a new record in a regulation game as five of Manning’s came during the infamous seven overtime game against Arkansas in 2001. He threw for 412 yards on Saturday.

For Corral, it is on to South Carolina.

“I’m not even thinking about records broken,” Corral said. “I’m thinking about getting to work next week. I know we have a bye week, but we do have a big game coming up. Just getting a jump on South Carolina, having an extra week to prepare, is big for us.”

While Corral had a banner day, Moore was the benefactor for a lot of his quarterback’s success. The junior finished with 14 receptions for 238 yards and three touchdowns. The yards sets a new single-game record, surpassing A.J. Brown’s record of 233 yards against South Alabama in 2017.

Moore tied Brown and Laquon Treadwell’s record of receptions in a game and was the first person since Treadwell in the Sugar Bowl in 2015 to catch three touchdown passes in a game.

“It makes you want to keep going. Records are meant to be broken,” Moore said. “Our overall goal is just to win. As long as we got that through, that’s the most important thing.”

The defense continued to show signs of improvement for a third straight game. The Rebel starters did not allow a Vanderbilt (0-4) touchdown in the second half. The Commodores did score on a late touchdown in the final minutes of the game.

Kiffin did express a little frustration over the lack of turnovers in the first half by his defense. Rebels forced three fumbles and recovered two of them by A.J. Finley and Zikerrion Baker.