No. 1 Alabama Football Has Record Night in 66-3 Win Over Ole Miss
The No. 1 ranked University of Alabama football team beat Ole Miss, 66-3, on Saturday night in Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Crimson Tide has now scored 50-plus points in back-to-back Southeastern Conference games for the first time since 1945, following last weekend’s 59-0 win against Vanderbilt.
The 66 points scored by Alabama is the most since 1979, when the Crimson Tide downed Vanderbilt, 66-3 in Nashville, Tenn. It is also the most points in school history against Ole Miss.
The Tide (5-0, 2-0 SEC) dominated the Rebels (2-2, 0-1 SEC), on both sides of the ball, outgaining Ole Miss, 613-253, while forcing two turnovers and compiling five sacks in the game.
Sophomore quarterback Jalen Hurts finished the game 12-of-19 for 197 yards and two scores through the air, and a team-high 101 rushing yards and a score on 10 carries to lead the Alabama offense. The game marked Hurts' seventh career 100-yard rushing game and his third of the season.
Five different rushers scored on the ground for the Tide, including Hurts, freshman rushing back Najee Harris, freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and junior running backs Ronnie Clark and Bo Scarbrough.
On defense, senior defensive back Levi Wallace led the way with a career-high two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown in the first quarter. Junior safety standout, Minkah Fitzpatrick, was tops on the team with a career-high eight tackles to go along with his first sack of the season.
Alabama’s stifling defense started the game by forcing two Ole Miss three-and-outs, before the Tide found the end zone on its second drive of the game. Alabama used a short field to go 51 yards on six plays, capped off by Scarbrough bulldozing his way to a six-yard touchdown run, giving UA the early 7-0 lead following Andy Pappanastos’ point after, with 10:04 left in the opening quarter.
Three plays later, with Ole Miss possessing the ball on its own 30-yard line, Wallace intercepted Rebels quarterback Shea Patterson’s pass, and raced 35 yards to the end zone for the first pick six of his career. The defensive score extended the Tide lead to 14-0 after Andy Pappanastos’ extra point, just 44 seconds after scoring its first touchdown.
The defensive touchdown marked the 60th non-offensive touchdown of the Nick Saban era, and the first non-offensive score of the season.
After forcing another Ole Miss punt, Alabama moved down the field quickly, when senior wide receiver Cam Sims hauled in a career-long 60-yard reception from Hurts, to setup first-and-goal for the Tide. Two plays later, Hurts found junior tight end Hale Hentges wide open in the back of the end zone for a three-yard pitch-and-catch to cap a five-play 85 yard drive. Hentges’ second touchdown catch of the season put the Crimson Tide up 21-0 following Pappanastos’ point after, with 5:13 left in the first quarter.
The Rebels responded by going 66 yards on six plays, setting up a 26-yard field goal that trimmed the Tide lead to 21-3 with 2:31 on the clock in the opening quarter.
The Tide continued to pour on the points when Hurts found sophomore Josh Jacobs wide open after the running back snuck out of the backfield, for his first career receiving touchdown. The 18-yard touchdown reception extended the Alabama lead to 28-3 after Pappanastos’ PAT, with 12:53 remaining in the first half.
Following another Rebel three-and-out, the Crimson Tide offense needed just two plays to go 36 yards, finishing with Hurts slicing through the defense for a 10-yard touchdown run. The score furthered the Alabama advantage to 35-3, after Pappanastos’ PAT, with 3:42 remaining in the half.
In the second half, the offense continued to produce explosive plays, with junior running back Damien Harris flying down the field for a 46-yard run to the Ole Miss 32-yard line on the opening play from scrimmage of the second half. The long run set up senior punter JK Scott who netted his first career field goal, knocking it through the uprights from 48 yards out to put the Tide up 38-3 with 12:37 remaining in the third quarter.
After the Tide defense forced another Rebels three-and-out, Alabama used a short field to find the end zone, amassing 29 yards on six plays, ending with Najee Harris finding his way to his first career touchdown from four yards out to extend the Tide lead to 45-3 after Pappanastos’ point after with 9:07 left in the third quarter.
Following an Ole Miss turnover on downs, the Tide only needed three plays to go 69 yards, with Tagovailoa diving into the end zone from two yards out for his first career rushing touchdown. The score pushed the Alabama lead to 52-3 Pappanastos’ PAT with 6:05 remaining in the third.
On the ensuing Rebels drive, Wallace snagged his career-high second interception of the game. The Crimson Tide then marched down the field on five plays, compiling 44 yards, capped by Tagovailoa finding freshman wide receiver Henry Ruggs III for an eight-yard touchdown catch. For the second consecutive week the Tide offense reached the 59-point mark, as they led 59-3 following Pappanastos’ point after, with 2:36 left in the third quarter.
The Alabama offense was not finished. Marching methodically down the field, going 91 yards on 12 plays, finishing the drive with Clark finding the end zone for the first time in his career, after rumbling nine yards to extend the UA advantage to 66-3 after Pappanastos’ point after, with 6:51 left in the game.
Alabama returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 6, on the road at Texas A&M in College Station, Texas. Kickoff is set for 6:15 p.m. CT with the game airing on ESPN.