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According to his head coach, Matt Corral was not 100% healthy heading into his matchup with LSU this past Saturday.
There were rumors spread about who would start at QB over Corral assuming he wouldn’t play. Whether it be John Rhys Plumlee, who ran for over a thousand yards as a quarterback in 2019, Kinkead Dent, the second-string QB, or Luke Altmeyer, the redshirt freshman who Kiffin said would most likely get the start if Corral wasn’t healthy.
Corral then proceeded to play the entire game, accounting for two touchdowns.
Kiffin said post-game that Corral still isn’t 100% healthy, and neither are some of his teammates (Deep-threat receiver Braylon Sanders is out will an injury as well).
Corral had his worst mark passing this season, completing 78% of his passes but only throwing for 185 yards. He only managed to pick up 24 yards on the ground and was sacked three times. Keep in mind this was against a porous LSU defense that doesn’t thrive in stopping much of anything.
It’s clear that Corral is hurt. This does not bode well for Ole Miss, who will be playing a much better Auburn defense this weekend. Corral is expected to play, and there are a couple of ways Auburn could handle him.
They could do what LSU tried to do, which is drop eight into coverage, pray that Ole Miss doesn’t run the ball, slow the game down, and put pressure on Corral on third down because he couldn’t escape (Corral averaged two yards a carry).
Or, Auburn could elect to stop the Ole Miss ground game (Ole Miss ran the ball 50 times against LSU) and force Corral to throw on third and long and just hope that the secondary doesn’t get lost like it has at certain times this season. Note that this didn’t work for three quarters against Arkansas.
The Tigers have their options defensively, but point being it may be easier to slow down this Ole Miss offense if Corral isn’t operating at 100%. We’ve seen him be turnover prone in the past, so Auburn should throw everything including the kitchen sink at him to see if he cracks.