Alabama Football: What Nick Saban and Crimson Tide learned in Ole Miss win

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports /

In the second half against Ole Miss the Alabama football team showed considerable progress in playing to its long-established standard. The result was an 18-3 half for the Crimson Tide culminating in a 24-10 win.

The way the second half played out in Tuscaloosa says more about Alabama than it does Ole Miss. Ole Miss quarterback Jaxson Dart came into the game as No. 2 in the SEC in Total Offense. Dart was effective against Alabama, passing for 244 yards and running for a touchdown.

However, Jaxson Dart was not the best quarterback Saturday afternoon in Bryant-Denny. Instead, the best QB wore Crimson.

Jalen Milroe was 17-for-21 and 225 passing yards. Adjust for the four Ole Miss sacks and Milroe rushed for close to 60 yards. Milroe also made a stunningly bad decision in the first half, with an interception that had no chance of being a completion, taking points off the board for the Crimson Tide. After the mistake, Milroe not only didn’t whither, but he came back with stellar determination.

Alabama Football Post-Game

Talking after the game, Nick Saban said he meets with the quarterbacks on Sunday and Thursday. What Saban said about Milroe is key to the Crimson Tide’s future success.

"He really wants to learn. He listens."

Based on Saturday’s second half, the listening is paying off for Milroe and the Crimson Tide.

Nick Saban wanted the entire Alabama football team to learn on Saturday. He wanted them to experience,

"what they’re capable of when they play the right way and don’t make mistakes"

Alabama football fans have reason to believe the team did that in the second half against Ole Miss.

The full Saban post-game media session can be seen below. Before viewing, consider a post-game comment from Terrion Arnold, who stated what Saban said in the pre-game locker room.

"I wouldn’t trade any of y’all for a single one of their players."

Some may scoff at Nick Saban for a Ted Lasso move, but based on Arnold’s perspective, Saban’s words made an impact. Such sentiments can be hollow when less than completely sincere, but they are powerful words to young men when they know their coach truly cares.

Arnold had a big game against Ole Miss with eight tackles (six were solo), two pass breakups, and an interception. Except for giving up a 4th-and-23 to Ole Miss, the Crimson Tide defense was outstanding. The Tide ‘D’ had eight quarterback hurries, five sacks, and a total of 10 tackles for a loss. Jihaad Campbell, subbing for an injured Deontrae Lawson, led the Crimson Tide with seven solo tackles.

The Alabama defense held Quinshon Judkins to 56 yards rushing, and the Ole Miss team to a sack adjusted, 3.7 yards-per-carry on the ground.

Was what Nick Saban and his Alabama Football team learned from the Ole Miss game enough? It might not have been enough to start talking championships again – but it was a major step in the right direction.

Note: Game stats provided by

Next. Rolling Ole Miss. dark

Two additional standouts on offense for the Crimson Tide were Jase McClellan, who ran for 105 yards, and freshman wideout Jalen Hale who caught two passes for 63 yards and a touchdown.