The Alabama-Ole Miss game in Oxford featured any number of unusual events, but one thing that got back to normal was the Crimson Tide taking victory in the game against the Rebels. Mississippi had won two in a row, but with Saturday’s 48-43 win over the Rebels, Bama now leads the all-time series, 52-10-2.
Alabama came into the game with the nation’s number one ranking, and the Rebels are now 1-11 in games against the nation’s top-ranked team.
It was the first Southeastern Conference game for both teams.
Here are notes from the game:
Alabama erased a 21-point deficit beginning in the second quarter, which tied the largest deficit overgome in the program’s history. Trailing 24-3, Bama fought back to go ahead by 27-24, and went on to victory. Alabama also trailed by 21 points against Ole Miss in Jackson in 1989. That Tide team was down 21-0 in the first few minutes, but scored 62 consecutive points to win 62-27.
The 24 points put up by Ole Miss in the first half is the most scored in the opening half against Alabama in the Nick Saban Era.
Alabama had 22 first downs in the game, but Ole Miss had 23. The Tide put up 492 yards of total offense (on 79 plays), but Mississippi had 73 plays for 527 yards.
With CBS televising and all the scores and reviews in the game, it took 4:02, kickoff at 2:40, final horn at 6:42.
Saban now has a 61-29-1 record in road games in his career. He is 33-6 on the road at Alabama. In SEC road games at LSU and Alabama, he is 43-14, including 31-6 at Bama. He is 11-4 all-time in SEC openers on the road, 9-1 at Alabama.
There were two fumble returns for touchdowns – one by each team. DaRon Payne took a fumble caused by Ryan Anderson for three yards and a TD that tied the game at 24-24. It was Alabama’s first since Cyrus Jones returned one 13 yards against Ole Miss in Oxford in 2013. John Youngblood had a 44-yard fumble return for the Rebels. It was the first against Alabama since Geneo Grissom of Oklahoma did it from 8 yards out in the 2014 Sugar Bowl.
Eddie Jackson’s 85-yard punt return for a TD was the Tide’s first since Cyrus Jones went 57 yards for a score against Michigan State in last year’s Cotton Bowl College Football Playoff semifinal game. Jackson’s runback is eighth longest in Alabama history.
And Payne wasn’t the only Bama defensive lineman to get in the end zone. On a play where the Rebels were threatening, Tim Williams hit Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly’s arm, forcing a muffed throw that was picked off by Alabama end Jonathan Allen, who went 75 yards for a touchdown.
With Jackson’s punt return for a TD, Payne’s fumble recovery for a touchdown, and Allen’s interception score, Alabama has now delivered 52 non-offensive touchdowns in the Nick Saban Era. Bama has four of them this season and has had at least one in each of the last five games, dating back to the win over Michigan State in Arlington.
Freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts went over the 100-yard mark in both rushing and passing Saturday. He had 146 on the ground and threw for 158.
Bama had two rushers with 100 yards or more in the same game for the 18th time in program history. Hurts was joined by tailback Damien Harris, who had 144 yards on the ground.
Alabama extended two long scoring streaks. When Adam Griffith hit a 32-yard field goal in the first quarter it extrended Alabama’s first half scoring streak to 121 games, longest in the nation, and the Tide has now scored in 201 consecutive games, longest in program history.
When Akeem Judd went 23 yards for a touchdown on Ole Miss’ first possession, it was the first rushing TD allowed by Alabama this year.
Ole Miss has added on to its stadium and the crowd of 66,176 in Vaught-Hemingway was a new record both for the Mississippi campus and for the state of Mississippi.
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Captains for Alabama were linebacker Reuben Foster, offensive tackle Cam Robinson, and safety Eddie Jackson.
Video by: A.P. Steadham