Tennessee Football 3 Keys: Ole Miss

Tennessee football Three keys

A battle of high-powered offenses will take place in Knoxville on Saturday as the 4-2 Tennessee Vols host the 4-1 Ole Miss Rebels. Here are the three keys:

By Steve Wright

1 – Stop Matt Corral

The Ole Miss offense was supposed to be good this season and it has not disappointed at all. Quarterback Matt Corral is the star of the show – and he is legitimately in the Heisman debate in a year with no obvious standouts – because he is slinging the ball around effectively. He has thrown for almost 1,500 yards, has 12 touchdowns to zero picks, and was even good in the game that the Rebels dropped to Alabama. This squad is third in the nation in total offense and they average 562 yards per game. Slowing down Corral (who also has eight touchdowns rushing) will be massive.

2 – Hendon Hooker has to keep up

Corral will get his, so it is up to Hendon Hooker – the clear No. 1 at this point in the season – to keep the Vols in the game. Hooker has been on it as of late. He has 450 yards passing and six touchdowns – while passing at a 75% clip over his last two games. He has also rushed for another two touchdowns and almost 150 yards in the same period. This is an offense that is suddenly third overall in the SEC and it has shown the last couple of times out that it will be just fine in a shootout. Hooker has to be close to Corral in terms of stats and let the defense do the rest.

3 – Extra possessions

Both of these offenses are going to score. Where Tennessee should have an advantage is on defense. The Ole Miss unit barely exists – Arkansas just put up 51 points – and while the Vols aren’t reminding anyone of Georgia it is a unit that can get stops and, importantly turn the ball over. When both teams score in bunches it is those extra possessions that are key, so a couple of turnovers and/or winning the third down battle will be massive.

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