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Ole Miss Falls Short to Memphis in Season Opener

Adam Brown
Sports Editor

Matt Corral gets pushed out of bounds on a run. Photo by Josh McCoy / Ole Miss Athletics.

Ole Miss (0-1) got the momentum in the second half as they outscored Memphis (1-0) 10-2, but came up short in the end 15-10 at the Liberty Bowl Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

“It’s disappointing obviously,” head coach Matt Luke said. “The defense played well enough to win, just too little offensively with negative plays, turnovers and sacks. (We’ve) got to give the credit to Memphis, but we have a lot of getting better to do.”

Early in the fourth quarter senior running back Scottie Phillips scored the Rebels’ lone touchdown from a yard out that cut Memphis’ lead to 13-10. Phillips’ score was set up by redshirt freshman quarterback Matt Corral’s 15-yard scamper down to the one-yard line.

Phillips finished the day with 19 touches for 62-yards and a touchdown.

In the second half, Ole Miss’ running game got into a rhythm as they made a couple of big plays to set the tempo.

Corral helped lead the Rebels in a comeback in the game after being down 13-0 at the half. The offense only had 42 total yards of offense in the first 30-minutes. In the second half, he passed for an additional 50-yards and ran for 17-yards more. Corral finished the game, by completing 9-of-19 passes for 93 yards and one interception.

The defense held the Tigers offense to only 13 points. Memphis gained 364 total yards – 172 through the air and 192 on the ground.

“(The defense) kept us in the game until the very end,” Luke said. “We had our opportunities there but could not get off the field on third down.”

Memphis’ two touchdowns came in the first half on a run by Patrick Taylor from a yard out and the other by Brady White who found pay dirt from a yard out.

“We have to build on our defense’s performance and get better on offense and figure out a way to move the football,” Luke said.

Ole Miss returns home next Saturday night as they host the Arkansas Razorbacks inside the Vaught at 6:30 p.m. on the SEC Network.

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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