In Monday’s press conference, head coach Matt Luke confirmed to the media that starting quarterback Matt Corral sustained bruised ribs in Saturday’s narrow defeat at the hands of the California Berkely Golden Bears.
The redshirt freshman from Ventura, Calif. is listed as day-to-day per report from Parrish Alford of The Daily Journal who was in attendance for the press conference. True freshman John Rhys Plumlee relieved the Rebel starter in the waning moments of Saturday’s game, engineering a touchdown drive and a would-be game-tying touchdown drive, coming up a yard short on a quarterback sneak as time expired.
On his first play, the Hattiesburg, Miss. native scooted 47-yards, damn near out-running the Cal secondary for a touchdown and getting the Rebs in the red zone.
John Rhys Plumlee first career snap: 47 yard run!! pic.twitter.com/Ow08VM4hBM— #BusinessAintBoomin (@ftbeard_17) September 21, 2019
True freshman Jerrion Ealy punched it in a play later. Plumlee then went 7-for-7 for 82 yards, including an electrifying play to redshirt sophomore Demarcus Gregory that got the Rebs back in the red zone in quick time, setting things up for a chance to score and go for two to force overtime.
Alas, we all know what unfolded and the Rebs lost by eight.
With all that said, in my opinion, Corral does not need to play this week against No. 2 Alabama on the road. The guy is a competitor and will want to go out and battle with his teammates, but he needs to rest a week and let those bruises heal. Plumlee and fellow true freshman Grant Tisdale should be charged with taking their licks against the Crimson Tide and letting it all hang out.
No pressure, right?
I just think you give the back-ups some reps and as I stated above, rest Corral. Luckily there are no breaks and he can recover and be ready for Vanderbilt if need be. But, for now, I think you play the youngsters and see what they can do against an Alabama juggernaut that, all jokes aside, have struggled against mobile quarterbacks.
Also of note, Luke also stated in his press conference that if Corral is healthy, both he and Plumlee will play Saturday in Tuscaloosa, per Chuck Rounsaville of the Ole Miss Spirit.