Crimson Conclusions: Alabama vs. Ole Miss


In Crimson Conclusions, Bama Hammer takes a look back at the weekend’s game involving the Crimson Tide to break it all down.

Saturday night the 15th ranked Ole Miss Rebels outlasted the second ranked Alabama Crimson Tide 43-37 in a bizarre game. The Rebels were led by an efficient, and sometimes lucky, quarterback Chad Kelly and a ton of mistakes by the Tide which killed any chance of a win. Alabama has a slew of issues on this team and it all starts at the quarterback position which is still in a ton of turmoil.

Both Cooper Bateman and Jake Coker played and both had their shining moments, but also both made some horrible mistakes that were a major factor in the loss. Despite coming back from twenty points down to cut the lead to six on two separate occasions, the mistakes were just too much for Alabama.

Mistakes Kill The Tide

Alabama turned the ball over five times and made even more mental mistakes including penalties, blown coverages, and other mental errors. The game started with ArDarius Stewart fumbling the opening kickoff leading to Ole Miss’ first points, a short field goal. Later, Cooper Bateman would throw a horrendous interception which would lead to the Rebels first touchdown. On the ensuing kickoff, Kenyan Drake fumbled and Ole Miss scored again. After a brief comeback in the second half, the defense, on what could be considered the biggest drive for the them in the game, allowed a 70 yard touchdown pass when cornerback Marlon Humphrey abandoned his man to chase down Kelly who looked like he was going to run.

The play was almost identical to the game-winning touchdown pass Nick Marshall threw in 2013 against Alabama. So identical that again an offensive lineman was at least five yards down the field. I ranted about that situation back in 2013 and there really is no point in doing so again. It is an unfair advantage for read option offenses and it doesn’t look it will ever change so there really is no point in continuing to harp on it. Defensive backs just have to be more disciplined. Coker then responded by throwing an awful pass right to the defender and Ole Miss scored yet again to what seemingly would ice the game, but Coker led Alabama on two more scoring drives in quick secession while the defense made plays to get Ole Miss of the field. After all of that, though, Coker threw yet another interception on an awful deep pass to seal the deal.

Inconsistent Quarterbacks

Cooper Bateman made the first start of his career tonight and he started pretty strong with a couple of good drives, but his biggest advantage is his wheels and never, ever attempted to show that. On every read option he was given he handed the ball off, even when it was obvious the Rebel defense wasn’t even spying on him anymore. Coker, on the other hand, was fearless in running the ball and made several Blake Sims like third down conversions with his feet to the surprise of many. Both quarterbacks made some nice throws in the game, but they both also made some horrible throws. Coker stared down receivers far too much and he paid for it with a fourth-quarter interception, and neither quarterbacks could hit a deep ball.

Sep 19, 2015; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Reggie Ragland (19) blocks the pass of Mississippi Rebels quarterback Chad Kelly (10)at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

The deep ball continues to be a massive struggle for this team and neither player even came close to completing one on the game. It can be argued that pulling Bateman after really only one bad mistake could lead to both quarterbacks worrying on every play if they will be pulled, but I honestly feel like he was pulled just because the coaches felt like Coker had a better chance of leading Alabama from behind. I think Coker has secured the starting QB job from here on because the team seems to rally behind him. He still has several aspects of his game he must improve on if Alabama is going to try to claw back into SEC contention.

Tide Doesn’t Quit

With all of the negativity to this game, when Alabama got down twenty points in the third quarter, and then again in the fourth, the team still never quit and even rallied to get within six points both time. It all fell apart again, but it was nice to see players like Jonathan Allen, Derrick Henry, and even Coker really rally to claw their way back into the game. The defense played exceptionally well in the first half and even though the offense consistently put them in bad situations, they didn’t lay down.

Eventually, mental mistakes would do the defense in but they played hard all night against a lot of adversity. Even with all of the mistakes in the game, you could see things were just not going to go well in the game for Alabama. You knew in the third quarter when Chad Kelly threw what amounted to a hail mary and the ball bounced off of Minkah Fitzpatrick’s helmet right into a receivers hand who raced down the field for a 71 yard touchdown. The play was pure luck and there really was nothing that could be done about it. The ball was snapped over Kelly’s head and after he managed to corral the ball, he just flung it up in the air. The receiver caught it as it bounced off of Fitzpatrick’s helmet and raced to the end zone.



Jake Coker: 21-44, 201 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT; 7 carries, 59 yards, 1 TD

Cooper Bateman: 11-14, 87 yards, 1 INT


Derrick Henry: 23 carries, 127 yards, 1 TD; 5 catches, 42 yards

Kenyan Drake: 11 carries, 32 yards


Richard Mullaney: 7 catches, 63 yards, 2 TD

ArDarius Stewart: 8 catches, 74 yards, 1 TD

OJ Howard: 4 catches, 70 yards

Calvin Ridley: 6 catches, 28 yards

Robert Foster: 2 catches, 17 yards


Reggie Ragland: 9 TKL, 0.5 TFL, 1 PBU

Marlon Humphrey: 6 TKL, 0.5 TFL

Eddie Jackson: 5 TKL, 1.0 TFL

Cyrus Jones: 5 TKL

Geno Matias-Smith: 5 TKL

Jarran Reed: 5 TKL, 1 QBH

Reuben Foster: 3 TKL

A’Shawn Robinson: 3 TKL, 1 QBH

Minkah Fitzpatrick: 2 TKL, 1 PBU

DJ Pettway: 2 TKL, 1.0 TFL

Dalvin Tomlinson: 2 TKL, 1 PBU

Denzel Devall: 2 TKL, 1.0 TFL

Derrick Henry: 1 TKL

Michael Nysewander: 1 TKL

Ryan Kelly: 1 TKL

Keith Holcombe: 1 TKL

Tony Brown: 1 TKL

Jonathan Allen: 1 TKL, 1.0 TFL, 1.0 sack, 1 PBU

Da’Shawn Hand: 1 TKL, 1.0 TFL, 1.0 sack

Dillon Lee: 1 PBU

Ronnie Harrison: 1 QBH


Adam Griffith: 1/1 FGs, 4/4 XPs

JK Scott: 2 punts, 41.5 YPP, long: 45 yards

Kenyan Drake: 4 KOR, 71 yards

ArDarius Stewart: 2 KOR, 17 yards

Cyrus Jones: 3 KOR, 0 yards, 2 PR, -3 yards