Ole Miss Football: Rebels hang on for huge win in Outback Bowl

The 2020 Ole Miss football season is now over and coach Lane Kiffin and the Rebels took out No.11 Indiana to win the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida.

The 2020 Ole Miss football season is in the record books both literally and figuratively. A new head coach named Lane Kiffin, new staff members, new players, and Covid-19 made for an interesting and wild season. The Ole Miss Rebels (5-5) saw a fair degree of success which landed them in Tampa, Florida to face the No.7 ranked Indiana Hoosiers (6-2) in the Outback Bowl.

Without Elijah Moore and Kenny Yeboah, who both opted out of the final game of the regular season and postseason play, the Rebels’ offense was as good as expected. Indiana came into Tampa with one of the top-rated defenses in the nation but had no real answer for stopping Matt Corral and the Rebels’ offense. OHT looks at the scoring recap and the game by the numbers.

Scoring Recap

Ole Miss received the opening kickoff and wasted no time moving the ball downfield. However, Indiana’s sting defense held the Rebels and forced a 26-yard Luke Logan field goal to take a 3-0 lead with 12:56 to go in the first quarter.  Indiana answered with a field goal to make it a tie game before the Rebels went ahead with a 24-yard field goal from Logan with 00:23 left in the quarter.

The second quarter is when the Rebels cranked things up with a 5-yard touchdown pass from Matt Corral to tight end Casey Kelly. With Logan’s PAT, the Rebels took a 13-3 lead into the half. After the half, the Hoosiers cut into the Rebels’ lead with a 53-yard field goal to make it a 13-6 game with 12:53 left in the third quarter.

The Rebels opened up the top offense in the SEC and with 9:40 to go in the third they extended their lead to 20-6 with a 4-yard Snoop Conner run and Logan PAT. With 14:56 to go in the game, Indiana scored on a 3-yard touchdown run and PAT to cut the Rebels lead to 20-13.

Not done the Hoosiers scored again on a 2-yard run and with the PAT made it a tie game at 20-20. On the next drive, Matt Corral found Dontario Drummond on a 3-yard touchdown pass to retake the lead. The PAT by Logan failed and the Rebels had a 26-20 lead with 4:12 left in the game. The Rebels defense would step up and hold giving the Rebels the 26-20 Outback Bowl win.

The Rebels Numbers

The Ole Miss Rebels put up 493 total yards with 346 yards coming thru the air and 147 coming on the ground. The Rebels defense allowed 369 yards of Hoosier offense. Held to field goals on the first two possessions, the Rebels were 6 of 14 on third-down conversions and 2 for 2 on fourth-down conversions.

Quarterback Matt Corral, named Outback Bowl MVP, completed 30 of 44 passes for 346 yards and 2 touchdowns.  Dontario Drummond had 6 receptions for 110 yards and 1 touchdown. Freshman tight end Casey Kelly had 6 receptions for 49 yards and 1 touchdown. Back-up quarterback John Rhys Plummee had 5 receptions for 73 yards while Snoop Conner and Henry Parrish Jr add 106 yards on 33 carries on the ground. Snoop Conner had 1 touchdown.

The Rebels’ defense showed up big time and especially towards the end of the game. Jaquez Jones led the defense with 13 tackles while Otis Reese, who had an interception, and AJ Finley each had 9 tackles on the day. The 20 points Indiana put on the scoreboard were a season-low for the Rebels’ defense.

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All in all, it was a huge win for coach Lane Kiffin and the Rebels and sets up Ole Miss football for a great future. Congratulations to the Lane Train on a successful season and Hotty Toddy! Please be sure to follow OHT on Facebook and Twitter for the latest Rebels news and updates.