Richardson's Run Highlights Win

Without doubt, the biggest and most exciting play in Alabama's workman-like, not-so-pretty 23-10 win over Ole Miss Saturday night at Bryant-Denny Stadium was produced by sophomore running back Trent Richardson. With 7:22 left in the third quarter and his team holding on to a 16-3 lead (and backed up to its own 15-yard line), Richardson caught a short screen pass from quarterback Greg McElroy



Alabama sophomore tailback Trent Richardson turned up field, and 85 yards later tossed the ball to an official in the North End Zone.

"I set them up by waiting on my blocks," Richardson said. "They kind of gave me the corner."

Richardson said the touchdown catch and run, part of his career-high 101 yards receiving, was extra special because it occurred on Oct. 16.

"I have a little girl named Taliyah," he explained. "She was born four years ago today. It's her birthday, and that touchdown is dedicated to her."

Ole Miss linebacker D.T. Shackleford called Richardson's big play "difficult to accept. When one person blows an assignment, we all blew that assignment. We are a team."

Richardson and several other teammates found themselves leaving the hard-hitting game and returning later. He credits Tide Head Strength/Conditioning Coach Scott Cochran for that.

"I love the weight room. I love Coach Cochran. We take pride in our physical conditioning," he said.

Richardson finished with a game-high 220 all-purpose yards. He had 45 net yards rushing on 11 carries, and added 74 yards on three kick returns.

Junior Marquis Maze had a big night for the Tide in two departments: offense and special teams. He returned six punts for 125 yards while subbing for a re-injured Julio Jones, and he added three catches on offense for 42 more.

"When we put it all together, I think we're unbeatable," Maze said, sporting a siran-wrapped arm with some ice for some deep bruises. "We're still waiting on that game where we dominate our opponent for 60 minutes. It's going to come. We're close.

"It was a good win, bouncing back (from last week's loss at South Carolina). We play tough games week in and week out in the SEC."

On this night, despite Maze and Richardson's big moments, the defense carried the day for the Crimson Tide (6-1, 3-1 SEC).

"I feel like we played great tonight," said junior safety Mark Barron, the team's co-leading tackler in the win along with Dre Kirkpatrick with seven stops. "We had the whole package tonight: intensity, focus, and effort.

"When we have all that, we get great results."

Though senior H-back Preston Dial added another touchdown catch on this night, he chose to tip his hat to the other side of the ball.

"I'm proud of our defense," Dial said. "They carried us tonight. Offensively, we had some positives and some negatives. We have some adjustments to make. We know what we need to do to win. We'll get it fixed."

One key for the Tide defense was the way it slowed down Rebels quarterback Jeremiah Masoli.. He finished 18-of-40 passing with one touchdown and one interception, and gained but 40 yards on ten rushes.

Said Tide junior defensive end Marcell Dareus, "We wanted to contain Masoli. We did pretty good.

"Our defensive line coach, Bo Davis, told us to try and stay in front of him, and not get pushed past him in the pocket."

Masoli felt the plan worked pretty well.

"I got to give a lot of credit to Alabama's defense," he said. "They did a great job with us tonight. I saw a lot of speed, and a lot of physicality."

Dareus made four tackles, including one of two sacks the Tide had against Masoli. Damion Square was credited with the other

Linebacker Dont'a Hightower was one of four Tiders with five stops, a list that included Barron, cornerback Dequan Menzie, and safety Robert Lester. Hightower said his team showed resiliency in bouncing back from last week's set-back in Columbia.

"We used that (loss) as motivation," he said. "People stepped up as leaders this week at practice, and it showed tonight.

"As a defense, we felt more dominant."

After holding the Rebels to 10 points and 243 yards total offense, the Tide defense had a right to feel that way.

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