McElroy TD Pass Makes UA Top Five
Alabama's offense was struggling, facing third and 13 at the Alabama 15, when Greg McElroy dumped a short screen pass to Trent Richardson, who appeared to be the primary receiver on the play. Richardson took the ball 85 yards for the touchdown. McElroy's previous long pass had been an 80-yarder to Marquis Maze against Arkansas in 2009.
Saturday's pass tied Gary Rutledge to Joe Dale Harris vs. California in 1973. The longest pass play in Tide history was by Freddie Kitchens to Michael Vaughn for 94 yards against Florida in 1996.
McElroy moved into a tie for fifth place on the Alabama career touchdown passes list with two touchdown passes against Mississippi. His first was a seven-yard pass to Preston Dial with 8:57 left in the first quarter that gave the Crimson Tide a 7-0 lead over the Rebels. The second was the 85-yard pass play to Richardson in the third quarter. That scoring pass, the 30th of McElroy's Alabama career, moved the veteran signal caller past Walter Lewis (29 from 1980-83) and Harry Gilmer (29 from 1944-47) and into a tie with Jeff Rutledge (30 from 1975-78) and Freddie Kitchens (30 from 1993-97). John Parker Wilson (2005-08) holds the Alabama record with 47 touchdown passes in his career.
McElroy passed for 219 yards against Mississippi to move his career yardage total to 4,221 yards. That total ranks McElroy eighth on the Alabama career passing yards list. His 213 total yards gives him 4,310 yards of total offense, ranking McElroy ninth on the Alabama career total offense list.
Richardson caught five passes for 101 yards against Mississippi to become the first Alabama running back to eclipse the century mark in receiving yards in 12 years. Before Saturday night, the most recent Alabama back to have more than 100 yards receiving was Shaun Alexander, who caught 5 passes for 110 yards and one touchdown against Mississippi State on November 14, 1998.
Alabama's 23-10 win over Ole Miss in Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday night was the Tide's 18th in a row at home. That's tied for third longest winning streak in the stadium's history. The longest winning streak in Bryant-Denny Stadium history is 57 from October 26, 1963, to November 13, 1982.
During the current Bryant-Denny winning streak, the Crimson Tide is 10-0 against SEC competition and 4-0 against top 25 teams.
With the victory, Alabama leads the Mississippi series 44-9-2 (48-8-2 before NCAA rulings) with seven straight wins and 24 of the last 26 games dating back to the 1977 season. The Crimson Tide is 33-1-1 in games played in the state of Alabama, including a 25-1 mark in Tuscaloosa.
Alabama Coach Nick Saban owns a 8-1 record in his career against Mississippi. He is 4-0 at Alabama. Saban posted a 4-1 record against the Rebels while at LSU from 2000-04.
Wide receiver Marquis Maze made a major impact as a punt return man against Mississippi, returning 6 punts for 125 yards (20.8-yard average) including returns of 37 and 20 yards. The yardage ranks third on the Alabama single-game punt returns yardage list. The 37-yard return, keyed by a devastating block that took out two Mississippi defenders by linebacker Alex Watkins, set up Alabama deep in Rebels territory midway through the second period. That set up a 19-yard field goal by Jeremy Shelly that gave Alabama a 13-0 lead.
Maze ranks third in single game punt return yardage with his 125 total yards. Javier Arenas, who finished his Bama career last year, holds the first two spots with 153 yards against Tulane and 147 yards vs. Mississippi State, both in 2008.
In addition to his punt returns, Maze also caught three passes for 42 yards and rushed once for one yard against the Rebels, giving him a game-high 168 all-purpose yards.
Safety Mark Barron intercepted a Mississippi pass with 4:49 left in the fourth quarter to set up the Alabama offense at the Rebels 38-yard line. That interception was Barron's second of 2010 and the ninth of his Alabama career. He led the SEC with seven last year. Barron needs three more to crack the UA Career Top 10 Interceptions List.
Alabama returns to the road for the fourth time in six weeks next Saturday with a visit to the Tennessee Volunteers. The Crimson Tide leads the series 46-38-7 and have won three straight in the series. UA is 20-18-1 against the Volunteers in Knoxville, including a 29-9 victory in the Crimson Tide's last visit to Neyland Stadium in 2008. Alabama used two blocked field goals – the second of which came as time expired – by Terrence Cody in the fourth quarter to hold off Tennessee in Tuscaloosa last season, 12-10. Saturday's game kicks off at 7 p.m. EDT (6 p.m. central time) with television by ESPN. The Tennessee game will be the sixth nationally televised game this season for the Crimson Tide.
Ole Miss did not make a first down until the final play of the first quarter. The Rebels did not play a down in Alabama territory in the first quarter.
The game had been scheduled for an 8:10 p.m. CDT kickoff, but was pushed back a bit to about 8:15.
Alabama's game at Tennessee next Saturday will be televised by ESPN with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m. EDT (6 p.m. central time).
Honorary captain for the Crimson Tide was former star wide receiver Tyrone Prothro. Prothro had served as grand marshall of the homecoming parade earlier in the day.
Captains for Bama were wide receiver Darius Hanks, safety Mark Barron, and center William Vlachos.
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