Ole Miss football will travel to Lexington, Ky., this weekend for a game against the University of Kentucky Wildcats after suffering a loss to the No. 5 Florida Gators last week.
Despite the 51-35 defeat, the Rebels possessed a promising offense and started off the season with 613 total offensive yards, the fourth most against an SEC opponent in school history.
Quarterback Matt Corral put up career passing numbers and gained the No. 1 spot in passing efficiency in the SEC. Corral accumulated 395 passing yards and three touchdown passes. This marks the eight most passing yards by a Rebel quarterback in a single SEC game.
“I think he did a good job with his feet, getting out of trouble,” head coach Lane Kiffin said in a press conference on Monday. “I think he was very composed, really good at adjusting with him on the sidelines.”
Wide receiver Elijah Moore also moved up in the school records by bringing in 10 catches for 227 yards, the second most in a single game against an SEC school in school history. Moore is the only receiver in the NCAA so far to record 200 or more receiving yards in a single game.
Kenny Yeboah, a tight end transfer from Temple University, also hauled in five catches for 91 yards and the first touchdown of his Ole Miss career.
On the defensive end, the Rebels gave up 642 yards of total offense, drawing no positive words from Kiffin.
“You don’t break the SEC record for Florida, who’s had great offenses and then they have the most in the history of the school. There are not a lot of positives to find there,” Kiffin said in a press conference.
Defensive back Keidron Smith led the Rebels with 12 tackles, including eight solo tackles.
After watching film this week, the Ole Miss defense will have the chance to work on tackling. They have stressed tackling in practice all week as they expect a traditional style of play from Kentucky on Saturday. Kentucky managed a total of 384 yards offensively in their 29-13 loss to the No. 8 Auburn Tigers last week.
“You work on, obviously, tackling like we do every week,” Kiffin said in a press conference on Wednesday. “We were even doing tackling in our service period yesterday — which isn’t always the case — just because we felt we tackled poorly. It’s basic football. You have to line up, know where you’re supposed to be and make the play.”
Kentucky will bring in a different style of play this week after only running the ball 40 times compared to 38 pass attempts. Kentucky’s offense had 234 total yards split between 120 rushing yards and 115 passing yards. The Wildcat’s defense allowed 324 total yards.
The Wildcats will rely on senior quarterback Terry Wilson and his favorite target, wide receiver Josh Ali who hauled in nine catches for 98 yards against the Tigers.
“This is obviously a really good team we’re playing, a lot of veteran players, especially offensive line,” Kiffin said of Kentucky. “Guys played really well last year and lost the turnovers Saturday but did some really good things otherwise. We’re going to have to play really well and get better in areas we didn’t do well in. Obviously, defense and negative plays on offense. A lot of work to do.”
The Rebels and the Wildcats will kick off at 3 p.m. on the SEC Network on Saturday.