Bama/Ole Miss game notes

Following an open week, the Alabama Crimson Tide returns to action on Oct. 19 when meeting the Ole Miss Rebels in a crucial SEC Western Division game. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. in the CBS nationally-televised game.

Alabama is 4-2 overall and 1-1 in SEC play. The Rebels, following a 52-17 over Arkansas State last weekend, are 5-1 overall and 2-0 in SEC action. The Rebels have beaten Vanderbilt (45-38) and Florida (17-14) in league play.

Verne Lundquist (play-by-play), Todd Blackledge (color) and Jill Arrington (sidelines) will describe the action to a national audience. The game will also be aired on the 80-plus station Crimson Tide Sports Network with Eli Gold (play-by-play) and Kenny Stabler (color analyst) describing the action. Tom Roberts will once again work the sidelines for the network broadcasts.

Alabama Quick Notes:

  • Dennis Franchione seeks his 150th career win this Saturday against Ole Miss...
  • Coach Fran is seventh among active coaches with 149 career wins and 11th among active coaches with a .673 winning mark...
  • Alabama plays its 83rd Homecoming game this weekend against Ole Miss...
  • The Crimson Tide is 67-13-1 (.823) in all-time Homecoming games...
  • The 2002 season marks the fourth time Alabama has played Ole Miss for Homecoming winning two of the previous three games...
  • Bama and Ole Miss also played the first-ever game at Denny Stadium on Oct. 5, 1929...
  • Beard and Watts are 70 yards shy of 1,000 career rushing yards at Alabama...

The Head Coaches

Alabama head coach Dennis Franchione is in his second season with the Crimson Tide and needs just one victory to join an elite college coaching group with 150 career wins. Currently, there are only six active coaches with 150 or more career wins and Franchione is one win shy of that mark with 149. In his first season, Coach Fran led Alabama to a 7-5 record, including a win over Iowa State in the Mainstay Independence Bowl. He is 11-7 (.611) in his tenure with the Crimson Tide. Overall, Franchione is in his 20th season as a head coach and has compiled a 149-72-2 (.673) lifetime ledger at Southwestern (Kansas) College, Pittsburg State, Southwest Texas State, New Mexico, TCU and Alabama.

Ole Miss head coach David Cutcliffe (Alabama, 1976) is 28-14 (.667) in his fourth full season as head coach of the Rebels. He was named the 34th head coach in school history on Dec. 2, 1998 after 17 seasons as an assistant coach at Tennessee. His first win with the Rebels was a 35-18 victory over Texas Tech in the 1998 Independence Bowl.

Game Captains

Game captains for the Ole Miss are Tyler Watts (quarterback) on offense and Cornelius Wortham (linebacker) and Kenny King (tackle) on defense.

Alabama/Ole Miss Series

Alabama and Ole Miss will celebrate the series golden anniversary as the two teams meet for the 50th time in history this Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Crimson Tide holds a 39-8-2 (.816) lead over the Rebels in a series that dates back to 1894. The two SEC rivals became permanent opponents in 1992 when the league split into two divisions. This will be the 11th consecutive year the Crimson Tide and Rebels have met in football.

Prior to 1992, Alabama and Ole Miss played only 10 times in 20-year period. The Crimson Tide has won 15 of the last 17 on-the-field meetings, dating back to 1977. The Rebels snapped a 10-game on-the-field losing streak with a 27-24 victory last year in Oxford. The Crimson Tide's 19-14 win in Oxford during the 1993 season was later forfeited due to NCAA sanctions.

Last year's Ole Miss win was their first ever over Alabama in Oxford. In addition, Ole Miss has won only once here in Tuscaloosa, beating Alabama 22-12 on Homecoming during the 1988 season. In fact, that is the only time the Rebels have ever beaten the Crimson Tide in the state of Alabama.

The two teams first met in 1894, with Ole Miss claiming a 6-0 win in Jackson. Alabama notched its first series win in the next meeting (1899), beating Ole Miss 7-5 in Jackson. In 12 games from 1901-28, Alabama held Ole Miss to 25 total points, including 10 shutouts. The Crimson Tide defense pitched seven straight shutouts from 1915-28, outscoring the Rebels, 337-0.

The Crimson Tide and Rebels began meeting on a regular basis in 1992, when the SEC expanded to 12 teams and split into Eastern and Western Divisions. This week's game marks the 11th straight year the Tide and Rebels have met on the gridiron, the longest such streak in series history. The previous long was seven straight years from 1965-71.

Series Records by Sites

Alabama and Ole Miss have played a nine different sites in the series 50-game history, with the majority of those games coming right here in Tuscaloosa. The two teams have played at four different sites in both Alabama and Mississippi, plus one neutral site. The Alabama sites include Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Montgomery and Mobile. The Mississippi sites include Jackson, Columbus, Greenville and Oxford. In addition, Alabama and Ole Miss met in the Jan. 1, 1963 Sugar Bowl at Tulane Stadium.

In games played in the state of Alabama, the Crimson Tide owns a 27-1-1 (.948) all-time series lead. Ole Miss' only win in the state of Alabama was a 22-12 victory over the Crimson Tide on Oct. 8, 1988. The Rebels spoiled Homecoming at the Capstone with that win as well as the dedication of the Paul W. Bryant Museum, which opened to the public that day for the first time.

In games played in the state of Mississippi, the Crimson Tide owns a 10-6-1 (.618) lead. The Rebels 27-24 win over the Crimson Tide last season in Oxford was their first win in the state of Mississippi since Hoppy Langley kicked a game-winning field goal to lift the Rebels to a 10-7 win in Jackson in the 1976 season opener.

Alabama/Ole Miss Notebook

  • Alabama defeated Ole Miss 22-7 on Oct. 5, 1929 in the first-ever game at what is now known as Bryant-Denny Stadium. Denny Stadium opened in 1929 and has seen many renovation projects in its 74-year history.
  • The Alabama roster contains three players from the state of Mississippi, including redshirt freshman kicker Mike McLaughlin (Gauiter), sophomore receiver Thurman Ward (Starkville) and junior linebacker Cornelius Wortham (Calhoun City).
  • The Ole Miss roster lists 11 players from the state of Alabama, including freshman defensive lineman McKinley Boykin (Bessemer), sophomore tight end Bo Hartsfield (Birmingham), freshman receiver RaTavious Biddle (Decatur), senior running back Robert Williams (Gadsden), freshman defensive lineman Mike Gibson (Gadsden), junior offensive lineman Don Prince (Huntsville), sophomore defensive back Eric Oliver (Jasper), senior quarterback David Morris (Mobile), freshman lineman Lawrence Lilly (Montevallo), sophomore wide receiver Bill Flowers (Pelham) and freshman center Tony Bonds (Russellville).
  • Ole Miss punter Cody Ridgeway (Jackson, Tenn.) is the son of former Alabama place kicker Danny Ridgeway. The elder Ridgeway played at Alabama from 1973-75, winning three SEC championships and one national title. Ridgeway converted 71-of-75 PATs and 7-of-9 FGs in his career for a total of 92 points.
  • Alabama head coach Dennis Franchione is 0-1 in his head coaching career against Ole Miss.
  • Ole Miss Head Coach David Cutcliffe is an Alabama native and graduate of the University of Alabama. A 1972 graduate of Banks High School in Birmingham, Cutcliffe came to the Capstone to play football but an injury kept him from participating in the sport. He earned his B.S. degree from Alabama in 1976. Born Sept. 16, 1954, Cutcliffe spent three years as an assistant at Banks HS (1976-79), before taking over as head coach for the 1980-81 seasons. Cutcliffe left Banks HS for a 17-year career as assistant coach under Johnny Majors and Phil Fulmer at Tennessee. He was named head coach at Ole Miss on Dec. 2, 1998, prior to the Rebels game with Texas Tech in the Independence Bowl.
  • Cutcliffe is 1-2 as head coach against Alabama, after leading the Rebels to a 27-24 win last year in Oxford to snap a 10-game series8 losing streak.
  • Two Alabama assistant coaches have ties to Ole Miss and the state of Mississippi.
  • Alabama defensive coordinator Carl Torbush served as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Ole Miss from 1983-86.
  • Alabama safeties coach Melvin Smith coached for 20 years in the state of Mississippi, including a a three-stint as wide receivers coach at Ole Miss from 1992-94.
  • Ole Miss defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Chuck Driesbach has ties to Alabama head coach Dennis Franchione. Driesbach was at Kansas State from 1976-83 coaching tight ends, tackles, receivers and the secondary during his eight-year stint. Driesbach and Franchione were on the same coaching staff under Jim Dickey, Sr., from 1978-80.
  • In addition, Driesbach spent the 2001 season as defensive coordinator at TCU under Gary Patterson. Patterson was the defensive coordinator under Coach Fran from 1998-2000 and then replaced Coach Fran as head coach at TCU after the 2000 season.
  • Ole Miss offensive coordinator and offensive line coach John Latina was the offensive line coach at Clemson (1994-98), while Alabama assistant coach Carl Torbush was defensive coordinator and head coach at North Carolina.
  • In addition to Cutcliffe, the Rebels coaching staff has two more Alabama natives.
  • Defensive Ends coach Marion Hobby (Irondale) and tight ends coach Ron Middleton (Atmore) are both Alabama natives. Hobby played at Tennessee (1985-89), while Middleton played at Auburn (1982-85).
  • Ole Miss snapped Alabama's 10-game on-the-field winning streak (1989-2000) last year in Oxford. The 10-game winning streak was the second-longest in series history.
  • Alabama also owns the series longest winning streak at 12 games from 1912-32. Counting a scoreless tie in 1933, Alabama posted an 18-game unbeaten streak from 1912-1967. The Rebels ended that streak with a 10-8 victory in Jackson in 1968.

Bama/Ole Miss on TV

Alabama and Ole Miss will play the 15th televised game in series history this weekend in Tuscaloosa. In fact, nine of the last 11 games have been aired on a regional or national basis. Since 1992, only the 1995 and 1998 games have not been televised. CBS Sports will televise this year's game from Tuscaloosa, marking the second time the network has telecast an Alabama-Ole Miss game. The first CBS broadcast was 1999 when Shaun Alexander rushed for 216 yards in a 30-24 Alabama win in Oxford.

Memorable Alabama/Ole Miss Moments

Alabama and Ole Miss have had many memorable moments since the series began during the 1894 season. Alabama posted an 18-game unbeaten streak against the Rebels from 1912-67, a span of 55 years. The Tide won 12 consecutive games during the streak, including nine shutouts.

Alabama 12, Ole Miss 7 Jan. 1, 1964 (Sugar Bowl)
Tim Davis kicked four field goals to lead Alabama to a 12-7 win over SEC rival Ole Miss at the 1964 Sugar Bowl at Tulane Stadium. Davis kicked field goals of 31, 46, 22 and 48 yards to earn MVP honors on a snow-covered field.

Ole Miss 10, Alabama 8 Oct. 5, 1968 (Mississippi Memorial Stadium)
Sophomore quarterback Archie Manning led Ole Miss to its first win over Alabama in 58 years with a 10-8 victory in Jackson. Manning completed 11 of 26 passes for 129 yards in the win. Manning's 6-yard TD pass to Shows in the second quarter was the game's only offensive TD. Alabama cut the lead to 10-8 in the fourth quarter when Mike Reilly recovered a blocked punt in the end zone. Prior to 1968, Ole Miss had not beaten Alabama since a 16-0 win in Greenville in 1910, although the teams had played only 19 times.

Alabama 33, Ole Miss 32 Oct. 4, 1969 (Legion Field, Birmingham)
In one of the greatest games in college football history, Alabama out-dueled Ole Miss 33-32 at Birmingham's Legion Field and a national TV (ABC) audience. Alabama's Scott Hunter led the Crimson Tide to a thrilling one-point win over Ole Miss junior Archie Manning. Hunter completed 22 of 29 passes for 300 yards, including the game-winning 14-yard TD pass to Meridian, Miss., native George Ranager with 3:42 left in the game. Manning was less than disappointing in defeat, completing 33 of 52 passes for a school-record 436 yards in the loss. The 33 completions, 436 passing yards and 609 yards of total offense all stood as records against the Alabama defense until last season against LSU.

Ole Miss 10, Alabama 7 Sept. 11, 1976 (Mississippi Memorial Stadium)
Ole Miss' Hoppy Langley drilled a game-winning FG in the fourth quarter to lead the Rebels to a 10-7 win in the 1976 season opener. The loss was the first SEC loss by the Crimson Tide since a 17-16 setback to Auburn to close the 1972 season. The Crimson Tide had won 20 consecutive SEC games.

Ole Miss 22, Alabama 12 Oct. 8, 1988 (Bryant-Denny Stadium) (HC)
Ole Miss shocked a Homecoming crowd at Bryant-Denny Stadium with a 22-12 win over the Crimson Tide. It was the Rebels first-ever win in the state of Alabama. The game also came on the dedication and grand opening of the Paul W. Bryant Museum.

Alabama 62, Ole Miss 27 Oct. 7, 1989 (Mississippi Memorial Stadium)
In one of the most bizarre turnarounds ever, Alabama spotted Ole Miss a 21-0 lead before pulling out a 62-27 win. The Crimson Tide scored 41 second quarter points en route to 62 unanswered points en route to the win over the Rebels at Jackson's Mississippi Memorial Stadium.

Alabama 20, Ole Miss 17 Oct. 10, 1998 (Bryant-Denny Stadium) (OT)
Ryan Pflugner's overtime FG gave the Crimson Tide a 20-17 win over Ole Miss in 1998, the first overtime win in school history.

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