Offensive Outburts

Alabama had another first-time starter against Ole Miss Saturday, when receiver Will Oakley entered the game for the first play on offense. Oakley was the intended receiver on the play, but he was covered. He picked up a block on a swing pass to tailback Kenneth Darby.

Oakley finished with 3 catches for 33 yards in the game.

Big Play DJ

DJ Hall scored a 39-yard touchdown with 11:18 remaining in the first quarter to give Alabama a 7-0 lead on the fourth offensive play of the game. The route was a short slant, but Hall broke it, getting most of the yardage after the catch.

"He just overplayed me and I cut it back," Hall said. "Keith Brown made a good block and all I saw was the end zone."

The gain was Hall's biggest of the day, which included catches of 39, 36 and 22 yards, putting Hall over the 100-yard mark for the fourth consecutive game with a total of 119 yards on five catches. Hall has seven games of 100 or more receiving yards, which surpassed Ozzie Newsome's mark of six. Hall's long on the season is a 78 yarder against Arkansas. In the third quarter Hall had a 36 yard reception to give Alabama a first down on a 3rd and 26 play from the 13 yard line.

Hall entered the game as Alabama's leader in all purpose yard average averaging 119.2 yards per game in five games played, and got exactly his average Saturday. For the season Hall has 603 receiving yards and 110 kickoff return yards.

True freshman Justin Woodall, from Oxford, Mississippi, partially blocked a kick in the first quarter against the hometown team. The punt traveled 19 yards and gave Alabama a first and 10 on its own 40-yard line. Woodall picked coming to Alabama despite pressure from Ole Miss and a chance to earn a high six figure (or more) signing bonus in the Major League Baseball amateur draft. Woodall, a safety, has suffered a sprained ankle in the fall that has kept him largely in a special teams role.

A 21-yard run for Kenneth Darby in the third quarter was his longest run of the season at the time, but not for long. That high-water mark stood for just over 10 minutes of game time, as Darby ran for 36 yards with just over a minute to play in the third quarter. His previous of 20 came against Duke last week.

The red zone watch is still on for Alabama, as the Tide scored in 4 times in 4 possessions, but only two of those were touchdowns.

"I don't know if they're finally over," Shula said after he was led into a question about "ending the woes" in the red zone. "We would have liked to scored (touchdowns) two more times. The ability to run the football helps us down there."

Tide defensive coordinator Joe Kines mentioned the correlation between third down conversions and winning earlier in the week, and there was a huge disparity Saturday.

Ole Miss was 2 of 11 on third downs, while Alabama was 9 of 16.


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