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Matt Corral's injury kills Rebels momentum, lift Bears to Sugar Bowl

The future NFL draft pick left the Sugar Bowl in the first quarter with a leg injury

NEW ORLEANS — The Baylor Bears talked a lot about defending against Ole Miss QB Matt Corral ahead of Saturday's Sugar Bowl. 

They only had to deal with him for less than a quarter as the future NFL draft pick left the game after throwing just six passes with an apparent leg injury. 

“So it's just a shame," Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin said after the game. "It is what it is, obviously Matt [Corral]'s injury was disappointing for the team, for him. So we didn't do a good enough job calling plays around Luke [Altmyer] and making plays. A tough situation to put him in." 

Baylor head coach Dave Aranda said his mind was racing as the QB hobbled to the sideline. 

"Thinking of how that would impact the remaining offensive attack, was it going to be more or less tempo, more check with me plays, more leaning on the run game, tight end in the core, three receivers out and throw it up?"  

Despite his many thoughts, his defense didn't overthink it. They held OIe Miss to just 42 passing yards at the half and ended the game with three interceptions. 

The Rebels had to call on true freshman QB Luke Atlmyer, who was intercepted twice. Baylor put up 10 sacks, a New Year's Six record. 

"WE didn't do a good enough job calling plays around Luke, making plays," Kiffin said. "Tough situation to put him in." 

Corral's X-rays came back negative, but Ole Miss has not revealed the extent of the injury. 

Corral's appearance in the game sparked a national debate on players who opt out in bowl games. He is a consensus first-round pick.