Matt Luke provided injury updates and discussed how Ole Miss has prepared this week after Wednesday’s practice. Here are some notes and observations.
- Freshman linebacker Kevontae’ Ruggs and senior wide receiver Damarkus Lodge did not practice for the second straight day as both are going through concussion protocol. Luke seemed pretty doubtful that Ruggs would be available on Saturday but remained optimistic about Lodge’s chances and thinks it will hinge on whether or not Lodge can practice on Thursday.
- Scottie Phillips was held out of contact during Tuesday’s practice, something Luke said was strictly a precautionary measure. With limited experience behind Phillips and his workload remaining hefty, Luke doesn’t want his junior running back taking any unnecessary hits.
Will Matt Corral play?
Assuming Ole Miss handles its business against Southern Illinois on Saturday, it would seem like an ideal opportunity to get Matt Corral some live snaps, particularly with the new rule allowing players to participate in four games and still earn a redshirt. Luke said he has not given much thought to it and is focused on winning the game, but did not seem opposed to playing Corral.
“If the opportunity presents itself then we will get it, but obviously the focus is on getting the win,” Luke said. “I would like to try to get him some experience, but we will have to wait until the opportunity to present itself.”
Luke noted the differing personalities between Jordan Ta’amu and Corral. Both are gifted players but differ in demeanor.
“Very different,” Luke said. “But that is the case with everyone. Every kid is unique and different and that is what makes them special. I think Matt is a very fiery competitor and a good athlete with a great arm. He just needs to get the experience.”
When asked if Ta’amu’s calmness has rubbed off on Corral at all, Luke chuckled and replied “not yet”. Corral credited Phil Longo for how he coaches the two of them differently to better suit how they absorb information.
“He teaches and coaches a different way,” Corral said. “He teaches and coaches each kid the way they were meant to be taught. Me and Jordan are not coached the same. It is that uniqueness between each individual on the team. I think he picks up on that over time.”
Corral said he is excited to see wha a home game day is like for the first time and that whatever happens after that is out of his hands.
“I am just waiting for my number to be called and I will be ready,” Corral said. “I am excited to see The Grove for the first time.”
Kickoff on Saturday is set for 3 p.m.