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Corral Breaks Out: Ole Miss Prepared a Year for Arkansas' Defense

Barry Odom's defense last year gave teams a blueprint the Rebels saw for a year and made Hogs wrong everywhere

Ole Miss remembered, but didn't particularly dwell on the loss at Arkansas last year.

They didn't really have to and Matt Corral didn't appear too surprised after holding on for a 52-51 win over the Razorbacks on Saturday.

"It wasn't necessarily preparing," Corral said later."After that Arkansas game everybody did that. So it was just learning from that game and understanding what type of defenses they run and if there's an extra hole player, stay away from them."

Good players and coaches learn from mistakes in a game, adapt and overcome. That's exactly why Hogs defensive coordinator Barry Odom knew he was going to have to change some things.

Lane Kiffin and Corral did.

READ MORE: How Does Aggies Win Benefit Razorbacks in Second Half?

"You got all 11 eyes on you so you can't window shop, that hole player next over is going to pick it off when you try to manipulate a hole player," Corral said about what he's learned. "Then you've got another guy looking at you because you're just staring at him trying to move him. It's just little things like that and understanding the type of look they're in and where they're supposed to be in certain coverages and when they're not, what coverage it is when they're in this spot.

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"They did a good job of disguising here and there but for the most part our coaches did a heck of a job from the top realizing what it was."

Hogs coach Sam Pittman talked all week about that's what he was expecting. Nobody really wanted to pay attention, assuming Odom would confuse him again.

Corral ended up running for 96 yards and passing for 287 more.

"When they got a little behind us his throws were on the money," Pittman said. "He's a competitor. We couldn't get him on the ground. Anytime we had a 1-on-1 to tackle him, we couldn't."

It's exactly what Pittman said all week the Hogs would be getting.

"We knew we would probably get a really good effort out of him because we've seen that on film and because the situation last year when he threw a lot of picks (6)," he said Saturday.

This time it was enough to win over the Hogs.


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