Near the end of the third quarter in Saturday’s loss to Missouri, Ole Miss offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez may have stumbled into the path forward for the Rebels’ offense in the remaining five games of the season. Down 14 points heading into the fourth quarter, Rich Rod decided rotate John Rhys Plumlee and Matt Corral within each series at quarterback, rather than giving an entire series to either one of them.
In three possessions, our fleet-footed and eye-black-smearing sons led the offense to 13 points and 156 yards on 17 plays (9.2 yards/play!), and the duo was six inches from making it 20 points and 210 yards, if Corral’s fourth-down pass had not juuuuuuuust missed an open Elijah Moore.
Up 21 points in the third quarter, perhaps Missouri’s defense had shifted into PLAYING NOT TO LOSE, BOB, but considering the previous 45 minutes of offense for Ole Miss, those final three possessions produced remarkable numbers. Who knows whether this production can continue, but Rich Rod should continue to explore the space with this duo that needs a nickname like Shootout at the JRP Corral, Rhys and Matty Ice (obvs wearing Miami Vice suits), or Maverhys and Iceman*.
*Running these through focus groups as we speak, pls stop throwing trash at us.
(1) Party Deck Catering Tents
undefeated with these just saying pic.twitter.com/YMicRcszju— Zach* BOO Berry (@Zach_Berry) September 8, 2019
Still undefeated at home in SEC play.
BRING US GOOD FORTUNE, YOU HALF-ASS EXECUTED IDEA.
(2) Rotating Quarterbacks
Because he possesses lethal speed and is such a dynamic runner, Plumlee should get the majority of the snaps in an offense that wants to run the dang ball. However, while his legs may give defensive coordinators the cold sweats, his arm strikes no fear in anyone, which can turn the offense one-dimensional and stale quickly.
Corral, a capable runner who is better suited to air it out, can throw the ball over the mountains with a flick of his wrist, but his streaky accuracy makes it hard to sustain drives consistently. A different approach to reaching stale but equally effective.
When a legitimate defense knows it’s facing either quarterback for a series or full game, there’s a certain degree of comfort, as they have been drilled on the strengths and weaknesses of each. What’s interesting about the in-series rotation is that it has a chance to disrupt that comfort and help mask the limitations of both quarterbacks, leading to longer periods of non-stale offense.
Instead of allowing defenses to think the same way play after play, the rotation means defenses will have to adjust their thinking on the fly. More moving parts in a high-stress environment opens the door for defensive breakdowns and matchup advantages for Ole Miss.
In the 45-ish minutes where Plumlee or Corral had individual control of a series, the offense produced 14 points and 290 yards on 61 plays (4.8 yards/play). If you recall minutes ago when you read the second paragraph of this post, the quarterback rotation offensive numbers were somewhat better (13 points and 156 yards on 17 plays for 9.2 yards/play).
If this idea works in future games, it will be because Rich Rod isn’t predictable about who plays when. Last Saturday, Corral didn’t come in just to throw passes, as he was involved in read-option plays. Similarly, Plumlee wasn’t a dedicated runner on all of his snaps.
KEEP IT SPICY, RICH ROD.
(4) Is This Good?
Out here making Missouri’s defense look like they don’t belong in Mississippi 6A high school football.
This became a touchdown.
(6) Quarter-Flick of the Wrist
Just your casual, no effort, perfect touch pass 40 yards down the field in stride, fading to the sideline.
(7) Getting Other Players Carries
While we love our fleet-footed son tearing through a secondary like they’re standing still, Ole Miss has to reduce his workload and get talented running backs more involved. In the three games Plumlee has started, here are Ole Miss’ top rushers by rushing attempt:
- John Rhys Plumlee — 70
- Scottie Phillips — 25
- Jerrion Ealy — 21
- Snoop Conner — 20
Your quarterback having four more carries than your top three running backs combined is probably not ideal for a fully healthy quarterback over the final five games. I’m not sure how much of that is on him making a read, but the running backs need more opportunities to cook.
(8) Hiding in Storage Room C
Ole Miss chancellor Glenn Boyce, a master of deception, lying, and taking money to hire himself, has yet to be publicly introduced to the university. Yet another opportunity to be introduced at a football game will present itself on Saturday.
Let’s go ahead and spoil the surprise that this coward and the cowards who helped get him there aren’t going to stick their heads out of the Good Ol’ Boy bunker to face people who want to hold them accountable for not acting in the best interests of Ole Miss.
Again, this group thinks we’re all stupid, and they will happily use our love of Ole Miss against us. They know we care about Ole Miss, so they’re assuming we’ll eventually break and go along with this hire because starting over could be worse.
But sure, give your full support to these arrogant jerks who think you’re stupid and use your emotions against you.
(9) Matt Luke Going for It on Fourth and Goal
It didn’t work, and we can do some hollerin’ about running the same play they ran on second and third downs behind a not great offensive line, but he tried!
Baby steps for a guy who, just last year, kicked a field goal from the one-yard line with five seconds before halftime, while trailing LSU 28-3 in Baton Rouge. Not that I have refused to let go of the anger created by such an absurd decision or anything.
(10) Mac Brown
Our lemonade-selling, raising-money-for-charity, football-punting son turned in his second consecutive game without a personal foul, after a two-game streak with personal fouls. I, for one, am a little disappointed he decided to walk the straight and narrow again, but I understand not wanting to give away free yards to the opponent.
Brown is no stranger to scrappin’, as he got plenty of camera time in last year’s Egg Bowl fracas. Let us hope his final personal foul penalty is brought on by an interpretive dance of Dak Prescott pooping his pants in the Egg Bowl.