Alabama Brutalizes Ole Miss, 52-7
Trent Richardson scored four touchdowns and Alabama scored the final 52 points of the game in downing Ole Miss, 52-7, Saturday.
Second ranked Bama ran its record to 7-0, including a 4-0 record in Southeastern Conference games. The Rebels fell to 2-4 overall, 0-3 in the conference.
Alabama continues in SEC play next week and the Crimson Tide returns home to Bryant-Denny Stadium. Bama will host Tennessee at 6:15 p.m. CDT with national television coverage by ESPN or ESPN2.
Asked how good Alabama could be if it played for 60 minutes, Tide Coach Nick Saban said "I thought we did, but I guess you can't count those 30 seconds at the start of the game." As had been the case in a big road game at Florida a few weeks ago, the Rebels got a big play and had an early lead on a 72-yard drive. That 72 yards would be more than half the game total for the home team against the Alabama defense.
As would be expected, Alabama had a huge advantage statistically.
The Tide had 27 first downs, Ole Miss nine. Bama rushed 42 times for 389 yards (9.3 yards per rush), the Rebels 31 carries for 28 yards, less than one yard per rush. Alabama quarterbacks completed 20-25 passes for 226 yards with no interceptions. Mississippi completed 10-21 with one interception for 113 yards.
Alabama's total offense was 615 yards on 67 plays, 9.2 yards per play. Ole Miss had 52 plays for 141 yards, 2.7 yards per play.
Alabama punted one time (for 44 yards), the Rebels seven times for 278 yards.
Bama did not fumble. Ole Miss fumbled once and the Tide recovered it, and it led to a Bama touchdown.
Richardson rushed 17 times for 183 yards and four touchdowns. He had a long run of 76 yards. Jalston Fowler had nine carries for 125 yards and two touchdowns. Blake Sims came in late and had five rushes for 74 yards.
Quarterback A.J. McCarron completed 19 of 24 passes for 224 yards and one touchdown.
Darius Hanks had four receptions for 63 yards.
Ole Miss struck quickly as wide receiver Nickolas Brassell was wide open behind Tide cornerback Dee Milliner for a 59-yard gain to the Bama 2. Two plays later Jeff Scott went in untouched on a right end toss sweep. Bryson Rose kicked the Rebels to a 7-0 lead. The five-play drive covered 72 yards and took just over two minutes.
It took Alabama barely four minutes to tie the score with Trent Richardson sweeping left end for an eight-yard touchdown run and Jeremy Shelley kicking it to 7-7 with 8:24 left in the first quarter. Bama went 79 yards in nine plays, including a couple of nifty third down conversions. Facing thired and two at the Bama 29, almost veryone expected Richardson to get the ball, but A.J. McCarron hit tight end Michael Williams on a crossing pattern that went for 34 yards to the Ole Miss 37. From the 27 on third-and-10, McCarron connected with wide receiver DeAndrew White on a crossing route for 15 to the 12. Two Richardson runs finished off the drive.
Alabama took the lead on Richardson's second touchdown run on the second play of the second quarter. His seven-yard run capped a 10-play, 62-yard drive. Prior to the touchdown, Richardson had two 11-yard runs and also had a 10-yard run from wildcat on a fourth-and-two situation at the Rebels' 31. Prior to the touchdown run, McCarron ran on a designed play from empty backfield and gained four yards. With 14:11 remaining in the second quarter, Shelley kicked it to Alabama 14, Mississippi 7.
The first flag of the game hurt Alabama's scoring chances after the Tide started at its 20 following an Ole Miss punt. McCarron completed passes of seven yards to Marquis Maze, five to Williams, and six to Brad Smelley around a 15-yard run by Eddie Lacy. But on a 1-10 from the Ole Miss 42, Lacy's long run was wiped out by a holding call and the Tide couldn't overcome it. On fourth-and-four from the Ole Miss 36 Cade Foster's 53-yard field goal attempt was short. The Rebels elected to return the kick and Foster was injured on the runback.
The second and third penalties of the game against Alabama may have turned a touchdown into a field goal. Robert Lester, the leader in interceptions in the SEC last year with eight, made his first of the year at the Alabama 39 and returned it almost to the end zone. However, a block in the back penalty forced Alabama to start at the Ole Miss 41.
Bama moved to the Ole Miss 13 and from there Richardson took it in for what appeared to be his third touchdown of the game, but a holding call on center William Vlachos -- he had also been flagged on the previous series -- pushed the Tide back. Eventually, Richardson had a 15-yard gain for a third-and-three at the Rebels' three-yard line, but a third down pass was incomplete. Alabama settled for a 24-yard Shelley field goal and a 17-7 halftime lead.
Richardson got that third touchdown on the first series of the second half. Alabama went 73 yards in six plays after taking the kickoff. McCarron completed a 10-yard pass to Marquis Maze on a third down play, then passed to Richardson for 15 and Darius Hanks for 36 to the Rebs 8. On first and goal, Richardson took it in and Shelley kicked it to 24-7. The drive had taken 2:23, which was forever compared to the next one.
After an Ole Miss punt went out of bounds at the Alabama 8, the Tide used two Richardson runs to cover the 92 yards. The tailback went over right guard for 16. From the 24, Richardson took the ball going left, broke through and up the middle, then down the right sidelines. He seemed to be hemmed in as he approached the 10-yard line, but made a move and went in for his fourth touchdown. The "drive" had taken 48 seconds. Shelley kicked it to 31-7.
The next touchdown drive would be even quicker, 41 seconds. Ole Miss quarterback Mackey was hit on a sack by Courtney Upshaw, who had not played in the first quarter of the game. The ball popped out and Ed Stinson recovered for Bama at the Mississippi 15. Bama's third tailback, Jalston Fowler, made two runs, one for seven yards, the second for eight and the touchdown. Shelley kicked it to 38-7 with 6:44 remaining in the third quarter.
A mass exit had begun from Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. The original crowd had been the fourth largest in stadium history, 61,792.
The third quarter onslaught continued after Bama's kickoff coverage held the Rebels at the 14 and the Tide defense -- led by Upshaw's sack for an eight-yard loss -- put the Rebels in a deep hole to punt.
After taking over at the 41, McCarron completed a 17 yard pass to Kenny Bell. Three Fowler runs got it to the Rebels 10. McCarron then hit Brandon Gibson for the touchdown. The 41-yard drive had taken 2:17 and five plays. Shelley kicked it to 45-7, which is how the third quarter ended.
It continued into the fourth quarter. A goalline stand by Alabama, holding the Rebels to zero yards on four runs from the Crimson Tide two-yard line, put Bama in a hole. The second offense with Phillip Sims at quarterback took over. Jalston Fowler got Bama out of the hole. He ran for two yards, and then for 22 to the Alabama 26. After a couple of short gains, on third and five Fowler got the ball going over right guard, burst through the Mississippi defense, and went 69 yards for the touchdown. With 10:08 to play, Shelley kicked it to 52-7. The five-play, 92-yard drive took 2:44.
Although over 10 minutes remained, Bama second teamers mercifully did not attempt to run it up.
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