The Alabama Crimson Tide shut out the Ole Miss Rebels Saturday night by a final of 25-0, in another game where the final score looked better than the game itself. Alabama struggled offensively in the first half, but solid defense kept Alabama in control, and Ole Miss suffered their first loss of the season.
Ole Miss had a hot start, and looked to keep Alabama off balance early, but failed to convert a fourth down on their first possession. Rebels quarterback Bo Wallace was 10-of-14 in the first half for 111 yards, but failed to turn that into any points.
By contrast, Alabama continue to struggle on offense, with the offensive line continuing to be a cause of concern. Alabama put the ball on the ground three times in the first half, but disaster was averted as all three fumbles were recovered.
Tide quarterback AJ McCarron was 20-of-23 in the first half for 135 yards, but was hurried and hit most of the first half by the Rebel defense.
The running game continued to struggle as a result of the play of the offensive line, and T.J. Yeldon sat out for a stretch while favoring his hip.
Alabama kicks into gear in second half
The second half was a different story for the Crimson Tide. On their first play from scrimmage, Yeldon burst into the open field and sped to a 68-yard touchdown, his career best and the longest of the season for Alabama. The score made it 16-0 and Alabama was in full command.
Late in the third quarter, Ole Miss drove deep into Alabama territory, and threatened to score after Eddie Jackson became the second Tide player of the season to be ejected for targeting. Like HaHa Clinton-Dix before him, the ejection was reversed upon replay review, but the yard stood. Ole Miss was once again unable to convert on fourth down however, and the Crimson Tide dialed up several consecutive runs to end the quarter.
Alabama started the fourth stanza in a bad way, with a McCarron pass bouncing off intended receiver Volger’s pads and intercepted. This time Ole Miss converted on fourth down, but just four plays later was unable to convert yet another, and Alabama took over on downs.
Alabama’s next score came one play after downing a punt at the Ole Miss one-foot line, when Bo Wallace was sacked in the end zone for a safety to make it an 18-0 lead.
After the free kick, Kenyan Drake burst out for a 50-yard score and just like that it was 25-0, and the Ole Miss defense was running on fumes.
One the next offensive play for Ole Miss, Wallace was stripped and the fumble was recovered by Alabama, which was the final nail in the coffin.
For Alabama, McCarron finished 25-of-32 passing with 180 yards and an interception but no touchdowns. Yeldon racked up 121 yards and a touchdown, and Kenyan Drake added another 99 yards and a score.
Alabama runs their record to 4-0 on the season, and 2-0 in the SEC. Ole Miss drops their first game and likely ends their run in the top 25.