For Fifth Straight Year, Tide Is 5-0
Officially, with its 33-14 win Saturday night, Alabama has a record of 46-9-2 against Ole Miss. Actually, Bama has won win that was forfeited and had to vacate three wins because of NCAA penalty. The actual on-the-field record is 50-8-2. It was the ninth straight loss for the Rebels in Southeastern Conference openers and also the ninth consecutive loss to Alabama.
Alabama having a 27-7 halftime lead was, among other things, a good omen. Bama was 53-3 under Coach Nick Saban when leading at intermission going into Saturday night's game. Now, of course, that number is 54-3.
Alabama has helped its own cause over the last few seasons by not trailing while entering the locker room at the half. The Tide has either held a lead or been tied entering the intermission in 25 straight games. Over that span UA has outscored the opposition 489-97. The last time the Tide trailed at the half was at South Carolina on Oct. 9, 2010.
When Ole Miss scored a touchdown early in the second quarter to take a 7-6 lead over Alabama, it was the first time the Crimson Tide had trailed in regulation since the first quarter of last year's game against Tennessee in Tuscaloosa on Oct. 22 at 3-0. Alabama won the game 37-6.
The Rebels' lead lasted for 15 seconds, the time it took Christion Jones to take the ensuing kickoff back 99 yards for a touchdown. The kickoff return for a touchdown is the first by a Crimson Tide player since Trent Richardson found the endzone at Duke on Sept. 18, 2010. The 99-yard return for a score is tied for the eighth longest in school history.
Alabama failed to score in the third quarter against Ole Miss, the first time in 33 quarters Bama had not scored. The last quarter previously in which the Tide did not score was the first quarter against Mississippi State on Nov. 12, 2011, an evntual 24-7 Bama win.
With its first field goal of the game at the 7:17 mark of the opening quarter against Mississippi, Alabama raised its current total of games in which it scored to 147. The 147 straight games mark the longest streak in program history.
Alabama entered the Mississippi contest a perfect 18-for-18 in its red zone trips and continued its perfect trend by scoring on all six of its trips on Saturday. The Crimson Tide has scored 16 touchdowns in the red zone in 2012 and kicked eight field goals. On the year, Alabama has scored eight rushing touchdowns and passed for eight inside the 20 yard line.
Junior Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron passed Brodie Croyle's Alabama record of 190 consecutive pass attempts without throwing an interception when he connected with Brent Calloway in the latter part of the second quarter. McCarron entered the game with 176 attempts and ended the game with the new record of 206 attempts without an interception, a streak that is active entering Alabama's next game.
Over the last eight games, McCarron has been finding the end zone at a frequent rate, totaling 18 over that span. In six of the last eight games McCarron has thrown two or more touchdowns, including two more in against Mississippi. The signal caller has thrown two or more in four of the five games this season, equaling his multi-passing touchdown total from last season. Over the last eight games, junior quarterback AJ McCarron has been finding the end zone at a frequent rate, totaling 18 over that span. In six of the last eight games McCarron has thrown two or more touchdowns, including two more in against Mississippi. The signal caller has thrown two or more in four of the five games this season, equaling his multi-passing touchdown total from last season.
Wide receiver DeAndrew White was injured early in the game, carted to the dressing room, and returned on crutches with an apparent knee injury. Cornerback Deion Belue, who had a first half interception, did not return to the field in the second half because of a shoulder injury. Tailback Dee Hart suffered an apparent knee injury on a non-contact play as he was preparing to return a punt.
Alabama started the game with two tight ends, Brian Vogler joining regular Michael Williams.
Captains for Bama were center Barrett Jones, linebacker Nico Johnson, and quarterback AJ McCarron.
Honorary captains for Alabama were former wide receiver Prince Wimbley and former offensive lineman George Wilson, members of the 1992 national championship team. Players and Coach Gene Stallings were on hand and recognized before the game.
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