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Opponent Breakdown: Ole Miss Offense

Mississippi v LSU Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

I’m not sure if you guys have heard but Ole Miss has a really good offense. Lane Kiffin has brought a very fast-paced and balanced attack to Oxford and ended last season with one of the top-ranked offenses in the country. While Kiffin lost two of his top playmakers to the NFL, he returns a core group of talent on the offensive side of the ball that will be hard to contain.

At the Quarterback position, Kiffin will have the luxury of trotting out one of the top passers in the nation in Matt Corral. Corral finished in the top 10 nationally in nearly every relevant passing statistic and he should only be better with a full year in Kiffin’s offense. While Corrall is known for his arm, he also has the ability to scramble and run when needed. He is essentially the embodiment of the Quarterback that has hurt Louisville in the past.

In two of the rougher losses Ole Miss took last year, Corral turned the ball over 12 times. that doesn’t mean that he has a propensity for turnovers as some of the plays were flukes but he does have a bit of “gunslinger” to his game. Louisville could have an opportunity to force a turnover or two if they’re opportunistic.

The hidden gem of Ole Miss’ offense is Jerrion Ealy. The speedy Running back is known as a dynamic kick returner but he also led the team in rushing with 745 yards and 9 touchdowns. Ealy has the type of speed that really worries you with the aggressive approach that Louisville plays with on defense. There aren’t many guys in college football that can chase Ealy down.

The depth at Running Back is a real advantage for Ole Miss when they actually utilize it. Henry Parrish will get the bulk of the backup work but I would expect Kentrel Bullock and Snoop Conner to get some touches as well. Parrish is another speed back while Conner was the second backup last season as well as the short-yardage guy. I can’t imagine that he won’t be used in some way in short-yardage situations.

Elijah Moore and his pee celebration are now in the NFL so Ole Miss has to find a way to replace a first-round Wide Receiver who caught double-digit passes in 7 of the 8 games he played in last year. He also put up 200+ yards in three different games. You don’t replace that with ease. Dontario Drummond will likely see the most targets with Moore gone after putting up 7 touchdowns last season. Drummond is a big receiver at 220 pounds but he is pretty quick and does well on the short routes that his offense likes to run.

The other Receiver positions will be manned by Jonothan Mingo and Braylon Sanders. This is a veteran group that has produced pretty well but none of these players have proven that they can be the consistent type of star that Ole Miss has relied on for the last handful of years. Louisville has to make sure that they don’t allow one of these guys to break out against them.

The Offensive Line for the Rebels is a bit hard to nail down as they blocked for such a good offense last season but negative plays were a big issue. Lane Kiffin fired his Offensive Line coach after spring practice this year which is obviously out of the ordinary so one has to wonder how this group performs to start the season. Ben Brown is the most well-known player in the group along with Nick Broeker at Left Tackle. Brown is moving back to Guard with Orlando Umana transferring in from Utah to play Center.