- Story by SportsTalk Mississippi Ole Miss Beat Reporter Brian Scott Rippee
Ole Miss lost a pair of young wide receivers, Matt Luke announced on Wednesday.
Redshirt freshmen Miles Battle and DeMarcus Gregory are no longer practicing with the team and will likely enter the transfer portal. The two have played sparingly this season. Battle has recorded two catches for 20 yards and Gregory has six grabs for 127 through 10 games. Gregory was sidelined all of last season with a knee injury while Battle played in four games and recorded two catches while staying within the threshold allowed to redshirt.
“I do not know if they have officially entered the portal,” head coach Matt Luke said. “I have talked to both of them about playing time and it is likely that they will enter the portal. Again, it comes down to playing time. They are both good kids and I wish them the best.”
The news is particularly alarming for the Rebels considering they have struggled all season in the vertical passing game. Ole Miss has not thrown for 250 yards in a game since a September 28 loss to Alabama and has had two games in which it has thrown for fewer than 100 yards in that span.
Since redshirt freshman Matt Corral returned from a rib injury suffered in the loss to California, at Offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez has experimented with a two-quarterback system that has essentially evolved into John Rhys Plumlee being the team’s primary quarterback with Corral randomly being inserted into games in short spurts. The Rebels were forced into a run-heavy offensive identity when Corral was hurt, lacked one when he initially came back and have now gone all-in on the fleet-footed Plumlee, who is completing right at 50 percent of his passes this season.
Plumlee 16-120 for 666 yards with four touchdowns and a pair of interceptions in seven games. Corral is 93-155 for 1149 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions in seven games. The Rebels have not thrown a touchdown pass since an October 12 road loss at Missouri.
Gregory and Battle have played sparingly behind newcomers (junior college transfer) Dontario Drummond and freshman Jonathan Mingo. Ole Miss has one receiver with more than 15 receptions this year. Sophomore slot receiver Elijah Moore has 55 catches for 672 yards. The next closest receiver is Drummond with 11. Tight end Octavious Cooley and running back Jerrion Ealy are ahead of Drumond with 12 and 16 grabs respectively.
Matt Luke addressed the media after Wednesday’s practice.