Notes From Tide Win Over Rebs

Although the Alabama defense gave up some plays in the second half, and even allowed a field goal by the Ole Miss Rebels, it was the play of the Crimson Tide stop troops that set the tone for Bama's victory Saturday. Here are notes from Alabama's 22-3 win over Mississippi.



Alabama took charge early on the defensive side. At the end of the first quarter, Ole Miss had failed to make a first down and had total offense of nine plays for five yards. The Rebels made their first first down on their first play of the second quarter as Jevan Snead connected with Shay Hodge for a 13-yard gain. It was Mississippi's only first down of the first half. Nothing came of it.

The Rebels improved only marginally on offense in the second quarter. And considering a key turnover and blocked punt, it could be argued Ole Miss was going backwards offensively. As for the numbers, The Rebs had 22 total plays for 19 total yards at halftime. Mississippi had 10 rushes for five yards and had completed two of 12 passes for 14 yards.

Although Ole Miss had one series that started at the Mississippi 48, the Rebels failed to get into Alabama territory for even one play in the first half.

Ole Miss Coach Houston Nutt said, "The bottom line is that Alabama is an awfully good team. We ran into a really good football team and you just can't turn the ball over. Very few people score points against Alabama. You can't turn the ball over. You've got to come out with three points, seven points.

"This is the fastest defense if you went from 1-11. From corners to safeties to linebackers to defensive linemen, this is the best I've seen."

Alabama now leads the all-time series with Ole Miss by a commanding 46-9-2 margin (with one of those wins going to the Rebels by forfeit). Alabama has wopn 23 of the last 25 games played and the last six in a row. Bama is 6-3 all-time in Oxford.

Alabama Coach Nick Saban is now 7-1 in his career against Ole Miss (including 3-0 at Alabama). Houston Nutt is now 5-7 against Alabama.

With 1:03 remaining in the third quarter, Leigh Tiffin kicked his fourth field goal of the game, a 21-yarder that moved him into second place in Bama history in career field goals made. It was his 66th career field goal, one more than Michael Proctor (1992-95) made. Philip Doyle has the Bama record, 78 (1987-90). Later Tiffin added his fifth of the game and 66th of his career.

The five field goals was the most ever by Tiffin and one short of the school record of six by Doyle against Southeastern Louisiana in 1990.

Leigh also moved ahead of his famous father Van Tiffin in career field goals attempted for the Crimson Tide. He now has 98. Van was 59-88 in his career (1983-86).

Leigh now has 317 kicking points, which moved him past his father (312) and into third place behind Doyle (345) and Proctor (326).

Tide running back Mark Ingram had 28 carries for 172 yards, his second consecutive 100-yard game and third of the year. He had 144 against Kentucky last week and 150 vs. Virginia Tech in the season-opener. Ingram had a rushing touchdown against the Rebels, giving him at least one in each game this year.

After having just four takeaways in the first four games of the season, Alabama's defense has turned in nine in the past two games.

Kareem Jackson's interception return for 79 yards was the 10th longest in Alabama history. Jackson intercepted Javan Snead at the five-yard line and returned it to the Ole Miss 16.

The first big play of the game for Alabama was made by Oxford native Justin Woodall, who intercepted a first quarter pass at the Alabama 34. Nothing came of it.

Bama punter P.J. Fitzgerald, a high school quarterback, had his second offensive play of the year against Ole Miss. On a punting situation, he passed to protect man Mark Barron for a first down. A week ago, Fitzgerald--who is the holder on placekicks--had run for a first down on a fake field goal against Kentucky. Nothing came of it.

Alabama scored only 22 points against Ole Miss Saturday. While that was enough for a comfortable victory, it ended the Crimson Tide's streak of having scored at least 30 points in every game this season. Alabama came into the game averaging 40 points per contest.

One highlight for Ole Miss was the Rebels first punt of the second half. Tyler Campbell launched a 71-yard punt, from the Ole Miss 29. The ball carried inside the Alabama five and went into the end zone for a touchback.

The game drew a crowd of 62,657, a new record for Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. The old record was 62,552 for a game against LSU in 2003.

Ole Miss Coach Houston Nutt had urged Rebels fans to wear blue to the game, but his team was dressed in their home reds. Ole Miss has three colors -- red, white, and blue -- and the colors seemed about equally worn.

Captains for Alabama were quarterback Greg McElwain, linebacker Rolando McClain. offensive guard Mike Johnson, and cornerback/kick return specialist Javier Arenas.

Alabama won the toss and elected to receive. Nothing came of it.

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