As Ole Miss camp continues behind the curtain, indicators point to Matt Corral as the starting quarterback for the opener against No. 8 Florida, now less than two weeks away.
Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin has not announced a starter, but his comments have routinely placed Corral ahead of John Rhys Plumlee in the competition.
Corral was viewed as the “passing” quarterback last year when he started four games before an injury created an opportunity for Plumlee, who started the last eight and led the SEC in rushing yards per game.
That was in an offense that rushed the ball 62.7 percent of the time in 2019.
Plumlee completed passes at just a 52.6 percent success rate and is said to have improved as a passer.
Corral hit on 58.9 percent of 178 attempts – still not the completion percentage coaches would like to see at the position.
Neither Ole Miss quarterback ranked in the SEC’s top 10 in passer efficiency. Five SEC quarterbacks completed at least 60 percent last year.
Plumlee missed last Saturday’s scrimmage with a minor injury. His availability a day ago for the most recent workout was not immediately known.
Redshirt freshman Kinkead Dent (6-5, 205) has been repped as the second-team quarterback.
Kiffin has not commented on a possible role for Plumlee beyond starting quarterback.
#Depth at linebacker
Linebacker was a trouble spot for the Ole Miss defense in recent seasons.
However, there was growth at the position last season, and it’s the most experienced group for the Ole Miss defense – led by senior Lakia Henry and juniors Mohamed Sanogo and Jacquez Jones – as the 2020 season approaches.
The big three are a proven commodity. Camp has shown a couple of young guys who may be ready to provide quality depth – sophomore Ashanti Cistrunk and freshman Cedric Johnson. Both have gotten strong reviews from their teammates.
A three-star recruit from Louisville, Cistrunk appeared in all 12 games last year playing mostly on special teams.
Johnson, a three-star recruit from Mobile, had 16 sacks and 10 hurries as a high school senior last year.
#Not that bad
Freshman defensive tackle DeSanto Rollins posted on his Facebook account that he injured a knee in last Saturday’s scrimmage.
It turns out the injury wasn’t as bad as previously thought and will not require surgery.
Rollins (6-3, 275) had been mixing in with the twos and threes at defensive tackle.
Coaches like his quickness but would like to see him add weight.
The Rebels are trying to replace Benito Jones, Josiah Coatney and Austrian Robinson – three productive defensive linemen – from last year’s roster.
However, as Kiffin has spoken about cross-training players at different positions it would not be offensive linemen helping on the defensive front but the other way around.
Injuries and COVID-19 earlier in the week had made the OL the team’s new flashpoint for absences.
Kiffin was hopeful that some offensive linemen would be returning late in the week.
Parrish Alford (firstname.lastname@example.org) covers Ole Miss for the Daily Journal. Find more in the Facebook Group “Ole Miss Discussion w/Parrish Alford.”