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Ole Miss eviscerates Louisville 43-24 in Week 1 showcase

Even without Lane Kiffin, the Rebels made it look easy in Atlanta

Snoop Conner of the Mississippi Rebels reacts after rushing for a touchdown against the Louisville Cardinals with Matt Corral and Chase Rogers during the first half of the Chick-fil-A Kick-Off Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 06, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Ole Miss Rebels had their offense pick up right where they left off last season, and both sides of the ball looked effective in a 43-24 win over the Louisville Cardinals on Monday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

It wasn’t as close as the score indicated, as it was 26-0 at halftime before the Rebels began to take their foot off the throttle.

Junior quarterback Matt Corral had a nice kickoff to his 2021 Heisman Trophy campaign, going 22-32 for 381 yards without an interception. He added 12 carries for 55 yards, and the Rebel defense looked much sharper than their bottom-quadrant rated unit from 2020.

The Cardinals couldn’t get on track all night, getting just 4.6 yards per play with two turnovers and 355 total yards including garbage time. Starting quarterback Malik Cunningham finished 22-37 for 191 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The Cards were 6-15 on third down, whereas Louisville was just 2-9 because they didn’t need to even get that far behind the chains.

Ole Miss was a nine-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook at kickoff, and the game finished well under the closing total of 74.