On Tuesday, Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke spoke at SEC Media Days; he discussed the upcoming year, no longer being banned from the postseason, and more.
First Year Since Postseason Ban
Luke entered the media session without a cloud hanging over his head for the first time in two years. The university was banned from postseason play for two years in 2017 for fostering a “unconstrained culture of booster involvement in football recruiting.” The providing of cash payments, meals, transportation, lodging and apparel were involved, according to the NCAA.
Luke was not hesitant on his expectations now that the team can participate in the postseason.
Matt Corral and the Offense
In addition, redshirt freshman quarterback and former Florida commit Matt Corral was a topic of discussion. Corral committed to Florida in 2017 to be coach Jim McElwain’s quarterback of the future. However, McElwain was fired before Corral could ever take the field for the Gators, leading him to take his talents to Oxford.
Corral also represented Ole Miss at SEC Media Days and Luke could not help but gush over his young quarterback.
Corral played four games for Ole Miss in 2018 before being redshirted. Ole Miss also added offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez to their staff during their offseason and Luke is excited about their offense going forward.
“You have to be able to account for the quarterback, whether it’s in a designed run or a zone read,” Luke said. “So I think they [opposing teams] would have to defend the whole field and defend all of the 11 players is something that comes to mind immediately.”
Furthermore, Luke spoke about how much recruiting has changed, especially for Ole Miss. During the postseason ban, Luke had to recruit top players while the postseason banned loomed over the university. Now, that’s not the case.
Luke also spoke on how June is such an important month when it comes to recruiting because of the new recruiting calendar. In addition, since National Signing Day has moved up to December, the Ole Miss head man believes teams have to take advantage of the new calendar. Luke believed Ole Miss did just that over this summer.
Despite all the positives of actually being eligible for the postseason, projections or scheduling do not favor the Rebels. ESPN projects that Ole Miss will win 6.8 games in 2019. They will face six ranked teams, including second ranked Alabama on September 28. Ole Miss starts its season on August 31 against the University of Memphis at Memphis.