Saturday's college football: Corral, Ole Miss take down No. 7 Indiana in Outback Bowl
Tampa, Fla. — Matt Corral threw for 342 yards and two touchdowns, leading Mississippi to a 26-20 upset of seventh-ranked Indiana in the Outback Bowl on Saturday.
Corral’s 3-yard pass to Dontario Drummond put the Rebels (5-5) ahead for good with 4:12 remaining. The Ole Miss defense came through with one more stop to ensure the school’s first non-losing record since going 6-6 in 2017.
Coach Lane Kiffin was rewarded before the game with a new contract, even though he’s just completing his first season with the Rebels.
Drummond finished with six catches for 110 yards. Corral completed 30 of 44 passes without an interception, including a 5-yard TD throw to Casey Kelly that put Ole Miss up 13-3 midway through the second quarter.
Jack Tuttle was 26-of-45 for 201 yards in his second start in place Michael Penix Jr. for Indiana, which lost its star quarterback to a season-ending knee injury in late November.
Stevie Scott III rushed for 99 yards and scored on runs of 3 and 2 yards to help Indiana wipe out a 20-6 deficit in the fourth quarter.
Ole Miss missed the extra point after Drummond’s go-ahead TD catch. Indiana drove to the Rebels 33 before stalling and turning the ball over on downs in the final minute.
Indiana created a stir by removing Big Ten logos from their uniforms before the game, sparking speculation of a rift between the Hoosiers and the conference after the team did not receive a berth in a New Year’s Six game.
The Big Ten logo was replaced by an Outback Bowl logo on jerseys, and the letters “LEO” were added to helmets.
Coach Tom Allen issued a statement to clarify “what we are wearing on our uniform and helmet,” noting that ever since he took over as coach at Indiana the program’s mantra has been “LEO, Love Each Other.”
“This season has been the most trying we will ever experience, and we felt it was appropriate to showcase LEO, which has carried us through one of the most historic years in Indiana football history,” Allen said. “We did not intend to show any disrespect to anyone. We are a proud member of the Big Ten and are always representing our conference.”
The Rebels appeared in a bowl for the first time since in five years, finishing on a winning note despite playing without two of its most productive offensive players — receiver Elijah Moore and tight end Kenny Yeboah — who opted out of the remainder of the season to focus on the NFL draft.
The Hoosiers were not happy about not being selected to play in a New Year’s Six game. Saturday’s loss concluded a season in which they turned heads by beating traditional Big Ten heavyweights Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin and losing narrowly to CFP finalist Ohio State on the way to their best start since 1993.
The loss could cost Indiana what likely would have been a Top 10 finish in the final AP Poll.
The Rebels had one of the nation’s most explosive offenses in their first season under Kiffin, who now faces the challenge building a defense capable of helping him narrow the gap between his team and the SEC’s elite.
Allen has raised expectations for a program that years was just an afterthought when it came to Big Ten football. The Hoosiers have appeared in back-to-back January bowls for the first time and figure to be motivated to prove their recent success isn’t a fluke.
►No. 5 Texas A&M 41, No. 14 North Carolina 27: At Miami Gardens, Florida, Devon Achane had two late touchdown runs, including a 76-yarder with 3:44 left that put Texas A&M ahead to stay.
Kellen Mond passed for 232 yards and ran for a score for the Aggies (9-1), who were in the Orange Bowl for the first time since 1944. Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher improved to 3-0 in Orange Bowls, winning two previous ones at Florida State.
Achane’s go-ahead score came on a play where he darted left, nearly tripped over one of his own blockers, broke a tackle and then got loose down the sideline. The Aggies got a fourth-down stop on the ensuing possession, and Achane sealed the win on a 1-yard run with 1:34 left.
Sam Howell passed for 234 yards and three touchdowns, two of them to Josh Downs, for the Tar Heels (8-4). North Carolina was without leading rushers Javonte Williams and Michael Carter, leading receiver Dyami Brown and top tackler Chazz Surratt – all of whom opted out of the bowl game.
►No. 12 Iowa State 34, No. 25 Oregon 17: At Glendale, Arizona, Breece Hall ran for 136 yards and two touchdowns, Brock Purdy accounted for two scores and the Cyclones (9-3) used their ball-control offense to dominate the time of possession and keep Oregon’s offense off the field for long stretches to win their first New Year’s Six bowl.
Hall, an AP All-American, had 34 carries and his ninth 100-yard game this season. Purdy, who went to high school in nearby Gilbert, threw for 156 yards and a touchdown on 20-of-29 passing, adding a touchdown on the ground. Iowa State had a time of possession advantage of more than 25 minutes.
Oregon (4-3, CFP 25) alternated between Tyler Shough and Anthony Brown at quarterback, but couldn’t sustain anything on offense and was plagued by numerous mistakes.
The Ducks were a replacement in the Pac-12 championship game after Washington pulled out and beat Southern California for their second straight title.
Kentucky 23, North Carolina State 21: A.J. Rose ran for a career-high 148 yards, Chris Rodriguez added 84 yards and two scores and Kentucky held off No. 24 North Carolina State in a chippy TaxSlayer Gator Bowl.
Christopher Dunn missed two field goals for the Wolfpack (8-4), who trailed 16-14 late when Bailey Hockman threw his third interception of the game. Rodriguez scored on the ensuing play, going nearly untouched for 26 yards.
NC State got a final chance after Jordan Houston scored with 1:10 remaining. But Allen Dailey recovered Dunn’s onside kick, and the Wildcats (5-6) ran out the clock. Coach Mark Stoops got a Gatorade bath following the team’s third straight bowl victory, which ended a tumultuous season that included the loss of offensive line coach John Schlarman.
Kentucky finished with 281 yards on the ground, helping offset one of the nation’s worst passing attacks. Stoops fired offensive coordinator Eddie Gran and quarterbacks coach Darin Hinshaw after the team’s regular-season finale and later hired Los Angeles Rams assistant Liam Coen to fill those roles in 2021.
Kentucky’s ground game and defense did most of the work against NC State.
Penalties were a problem for both teams. There were 11 unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and several more instances where a flag could have been thrown.