Moore inks historic night in shootout win vs. Gamecocks
OXFORD, Miss. - For the second consecutive week, the opponent had few answers for Matt Corral and the Ole Miss Rebel offense. Trailing by four, the Rebels (3-4) scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to outlast the South Carolina Gamecocks 59-42 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on Saturday. The 101 combined points tied for the third most between two SEC opponents in regulation.
Matt Corral became the first Rebel quarterback to crack 500 yards passing in a single game, breaking Shea Patterson's single game record of 489 yards set in 2017 against UT Martin. He completed 28 of 32 passes for 513 yards with four touchdowns.
Elijah Moore became only the fourth Rebel receiver to surpass 1,000 yards and the fastest Rebel receiver to do so. Moore caught 13 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns, just 14 yards shy of breaking his single game record he set two weeks ago against Vanderbilt. Moore also tied Grant Heard for sixth all-time in school history for receiving touchdowns with 16 in his career thus far.
Braylon Sanders caught four passes for a career-high 141 yards. On the ground, Jerrion Ealy had 84 yards on 17 carries. When the clock hit zeros, Ole Miss finished with 708 yards of total offense. The mark was the third most in school history, including the most ever in an SEC game.
Defensively, Ole Miss was led by Lakia Henry with 10 tackles followed by Jon Haynes with nine. A.J. Finley had six tackles with the Rebels' only turnover, an interception. Despite the Rebels surrendering 518 total yards and 318 yards on the ground, they made stops when it mattered most down the stretch.
After receiving the opening kickoff, the Gamecocks wasted little time establishing the ground game on their opening drive. Kevin Harris carried the ball seven times on a 10-play, 75-yard drive that ended with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Collin Hill to Khi Smith on a corner route. The Gamecocks drew first blood, 7-0, with 11:24 left in the first quarter.
Ole Miss countered. Moore and Ealy moved the Rebels down the field before Corral found Dontario Drummond for a three-yard touchdown pass. After a 14-play, 57-yard drive, the Rebels tied the game 7-7.
Two plays into South Carolina's next offensive drive, the Rebels got the ball back. Hill's deep ball was intercepted by Finley, and Ole Miss took over at their own 37-yard line. Corral used a pair chunk throws to Moore to cap off an eight-play drive with a three-yard touchdown run with Corral's legs. Ole Miss had their first lead of the game, 14-7, with seconds left in the first quarter. Harris answered with a touchdown run. His 46-yard scamper tied the game early in the second quarter at 14.
Penalties proceeded to hamper Ole Miss once they found themselves near South Carolina's red zone, setting up 1st-and-goal on the 27-yard line. However, the self-inflicted miscues would not keep the Rebels from scoring. Two plays later, Corral found Ealy open in the seam for a 15-yard pitch-and-catch, giving the Rebels a 21-14 lead with 9:38 left in the second quarter.
Another long run and a big pass play from Hill to Smith put the Gamecocks at the Ole Miss five-yard line. The Rebels forced 4th-and-goal from the one-yard line, but Harris would not be denied on the goal line. His second score of the game tied the game at 21 with 3:36 left in the first half.
Ole Miss again reached the South Carolina red zone thanks to a 52-yard reception by Sanders. On 3rd-and-goal from the five-yard line, Corral was sacked and lost the football with South Carolina recovering it just before it went out of bounds. Despite the quick change in momentum, the Rebels proceeded to force a three-and-out, and they had one more chance to score with 44 seconds left in the first half. A 27-yard catch by Snoop Conner put Ole Miss at the Gamecock five-yard line with one second left on the clock. Luke Logan connected on a 22-yard field goal, giving the Rebels a 24-21 lead going into the locker room. Logan's 38th career field goal tied Bryan Owen for sixth all-time in school history.
Coming out of halftime, the Rebels reached the Gamecock 39-yard line and converted a their third fourth down of the game with a 17-yard pass from Corral to Sanders. Conner later capped off the drive with a two-yard touchdown run, increasing the lead to double digits 31-21.
South Carolina fired right back with Harris' third touchdown of the game and Ole Miss' lead was cut 31-28 with 5:39 left in the third quarter.
Moore passed Shay Hodge for fourth all-time in Ole Miss history in career receptions on the ensuing drive. However, the Rebels proceeded to go three-and-out, forcing a punting situation for the first time in the game. Harris only needed two plays to give the lead back to South Carolina. A 32-yard carry followed by a 44-yard touchdown run put the Gamecocks up 35-31
Staring at another three-and-out, Corral found Sanders on a perfect throw and 57-yard reception. That catch gave Sanders a career high in new career high receiving yards. Ealy found the end zone from 12 yards out one play later. Just like that, the see-saw game continued with Ole Miss grabbing the lead.
Starting the fourth quarter, Harris once again found the end zone to give the Gamecocks a 42-38 lead with 12:50 left in the game. After muffing the ensuing kickoff, the Rebels recovered and set up shop at their own six-yard line. Two plays later, Corral found Moore all alone in the middle of the field, and he raced 91 yards to the end zone. In a blink of an eye, the Rebels had the lead again, 45-42, and this time it was one they would not relinquish.
The Ole Miss defense followed that up by forcing a punt, and the Rebels moved effortlessly down field capped off by another Ealy touchdown. With 6:09 left to play, the Rebels had a 52-42 lead. With their backs against the wall, the Gamecocks tried to convert on 4th-and-11 on their own 24-yard line and failed. Ole Miss looked to ice the game with 5:20 left to play.
On 4th-and-11 from the South Carolina 25-yard line, Corral rifled a pass to Moore for a 25-yard touchdown strike, breaking Patterson's single game passing record and securing the victory.
The Rebels will travel to College Station on November 21 to take on the No. 5 ranked Texas A&M Aggies. Kickoff time is set for 2:30 p.m. CT and televised by CBS.