You can’t spell NO HUDDLE without an O. Alabama had special teams in the first half, offense in the second half, and Dee-fense, Dee-fense all night long as the Crimson Tide shut out Ole Miss, 25-0, Saturday evening at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Number one Alabama improved to 4-0 with its second victory over a ranked Southestern Conference team as Bama is now 2-0 in the league. It was the first loss for Ole Miss, which had been ranked 21st in the nation. The Rebels fell to 3-1 overall and 1-1 in SEC play.
Alabama got a career-high three field goals – including a career-long 53-yarder – in the first half from Cade Foster. The Crimson Tide got second half rushing field goals from T.J. Yeldon (a career-long 68-yarder) and Kenyan Drake (career best 50-yarder) in the second half. And the defense pitched its first shutout since Alabama’s 49-0 win over Auburn at the end of last season. As a punctuation mark – make that an exclamation mark – C.J. Mosley led the Tide defense on a safety against Mississippi quarterback Bo Wallace.
It was Alabama’s third game of the year in which the Tide’s margin of victory was 25 points.
Next week is homecoming at Alabama, with a homecoming type opponent. Georgia State will provide the opposition at 11:21 a.m. CDT with television coverage on the SEC Network.
Although the Alabama offense struggled at times, Bama finished with 21 first downs while holding Ole Miss to 11. The Tide had 40 rushes for 254 yards, the Rebels 25 runs for 46 yards. Alabama had 180 yards passing as A.J. McCarron completed a career high 25 passes in 32 attempts for 180 yards with one interception. The Rebels completed 17 of 32 passes for 159 yards and an interception, that pick thrown by freshman wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, all the other passes by Wallace.
Total offense was 72 plays for 434 yards by Alabama, 57 plays for 205 yards by the no huddle offense of the Rebels.
Although Bama had three fumbles, the Tide didn’t lose any. Ole Miss lost its only fumble, caused by Denzel Devall and recovered by Ed Stinson late in the game. Freshman cornerback Eddie Jackson had an interception for the Tide.
Alabama was penalized seven times for 50 yards, including a personal foul on a play that was also called a targeting penalty against Jackson, then later over-ruled insofar as the targeting charge. Ole Miss was flagged five times for 29 yards.
One of the best things the Alabama defense did was hold the Rebels scoreless on two trips into the Red Zone, among the three times the Tide stopped Ole Miss on fourth down plays. Bama was 8-17 on third down plays, the Rebs only 4-14. Alabama had a huge advantage in time of possession, 38:29 to 21:31.
Individually for the Tide, T.J. Yeldon had 17 carries for 121 yards, 7.1 yards per carry, and Kenyan Drake 12 runs for 99 yards, 8.2 yards per carry.
Christion Jones led Bama in receiving with five catches for 61 yards with Kevin Norwood having five for 40, Kenny Bell 4 for 23, and Amari Cooper 3-28.
Cody Mandell had another good day punting, five for 231 yards, 46.2 yards pr punt, with three inside the 20 and only one return for only four yards.
HaHa Clinton-Dix had six primary stops and two assists and broke up two passes to lead Alabama defensively. C.J. Mosley had seven tackles and broke up a pass, Eddie Jackson four tackles and two pass break-ups in addition to his interception, and Trey DePriest, Jeoffrey Pagan, and Jarrick Williams all four tackles each.
Alabama scored on its first possession, but it was somewhat disheartening in that the Bama offense drove from its 28 to inside the Ole Miss red zone before having to settle for the first of Cade Foster’s field goals, a 28-yard effort that was all the first quarter scoring.
In the second quarter, a Tide drive stalled at the Ole Miss 36. In fact, it was somewhat lucky that Bama was able to keep the ball as tight end Brian Vogler recovered a Drake fumble. From there Foster nailed a 53-yard field goal, his longest.
Foster got another second quarter field goal, a key one as it came on the last play of the half. Alabama had the ball on a punt at its own 19 with 3:09 to play. The Bama offense kept the ball for 13 plays, including a McCarron 11-yard pass on third-and-nine to Cooper from the Bama 25. With just 25 seconds to play and Bama having a first-and-15 at the Mississippi 42 and no timeouts available, McCarron completed a 13 yard pass to Yeldon. Seconds later he got the ball to Kenny Bell for four yards and Bell was able to get out of bounds at the Rebels’ 25.
With two seconds remaining in the half, Foster was good on a 42-yard field goal and Bama went to intermission with a 9-0 lead.
That drive was without the benefit of starting center Ryan Kelly, who left the game with a knee injury. Chad Lindsay replaced Kelly.
It is usually good to get a score at the end of the first half, particularly when you are going to get the ball to start the second half. Ole Miss had won the toss at the beginning of the game and elected to receive, and so the Rebels had to kick to the Tide to start the second half.
It wasn’t dramatic as the kickoff went into the end zone and was downed, but it got exciting in a hurry. After a five-yard step-off against the Rebels, McCarron completed a two-yard pass to the 32. That is 68 yards from the goalline.
On third and three-, Yeldon went over right guard, got excellent blocks from Anthony Steen and Lindsay, put a little Eddie Lacy-like spin move on the final defender, and finished off the 68-yard touchdown run, longest of his career. That propelled Yeldon to his second 100-yard rushing game of the season and gave the Tide a 16-0 lead.
It stayed that way until late in the fourth quarter when Mandell punted to the Ole Miss one-yard line with just under six minutes to play. On first down Wallace tried to wedge out yardage at left tackle, but Jeoffrey Pagan plugged up the hole and C.J. Mosley finished off the Rebels quarterback in the end zone for a safety and an 18-0 Alabama lead with 5:43 to play.
After the Rebels free kick following the safety went out of bounds, it set the Tide up at midfield.
On first down, Drake took it went up the middle, then down the right sideline, untouched to the end zone. Only 11 seconds had elapsed since the safety and finished the scoring. The game ended with back-up quarterback Blake Sims taking a knee near the Ole Miss 31.