Lane Kiffin explains the challenge of Ole Miss football practicing without Matt Corral
Corral didn't practice all of last week leading into the No. 12 Rebels' 27-14 win over Liberty. Now, as the Rebels (7-2, 3-2 SEC) prepare for No. 11 Texas A&M (7-2, 4-2) on Saturday (6 p.m., ESPN), Corral is once again limited.
To coach Lane Kiffin, this isn't optimal.
"He didn't practice last week so we've kind of gotten used to this," Kiffin said Wednesday. "It limits what we can do and how we can call a game. Practice is important, no matter who you are, but especially the quarterback for a lot of reasons. So that is not ideal, obviously."
Corral has been playing through an injured left ankle for nearly a month. He first hurt the ankle in the fourth quarter of Ole Miss' win against Tennessee on Oct. 16 and re-aggravated the injury in the first half of a loss against Auburn on Oct. 30.
The injury has severely changed Ole Miss' gameplans. Through the first six weeks, Corral averaged 16 carries and 75 rushing yards per game. In three weeks since, he's averaged nine carries and 26 rushing yards.
Without being able to rely on Corral's mobility, Ole Miss' offense has slowed down. The Rebels went from averaging 80.5 plays and 553 yards per game through six weeks to averaging 70 plays and 467 yards since the injury.
Still, having Corral play through the injury has been huge for the Rebels. Not just because he's one of the nation's top quarterbacks. But Kiffin can also see the effects of Corral's persistence spreading to other players.
"Yeah, I think his quote he said after the game about injured vs. hurt, for a lot of young players to see that and see him play through that, it's pretty powerful and pretty unique nowadays," Kiffin said.
Contact Nick Suss at 601-408-2674 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @nicksuss on Twitter.