Offense Runs Wild as No. 1 Alabama Football Makes History in 62-7 Road Win Over Ole Miss
The No. 1 Alabama football team scored 62 unanswered points to cruise to a 62-7 victory over Ole Miss in its Southeastern Conference opener at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Saturday night in Oxford, Miss.
The Crimson Tide (3-0) became the first team in SEC history to score 50-plus points in its first three games of a season, after putting up 51 against Louisville (9/1), 57 versus Arkansas State (9/8) and 62 against the Rebels.
Playing just in the first half, sophomore quarterback Tua Tagovailoa went 11-for-15 passing for 191 yards and two scores to lead the Alabama offense. Tagovailoa also rushed for 47 yards on five carries. On the receiving end, sophomore wide out Jerry Jeudy led the way with three catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns. Alabama doubled up Ole Miss in total offense 516-248.
On defense, sophomore lineman Quinnen Williams finished the game with a team-high six tackles, while senior linebacker Christian Miller accounted for five tackles and 2.5 sacks. Junior defensive back Deionte Thompson had an interception, while sophomore defensive back Xavier McKinney had an interception for a touchdown and a forced fumble.
On the first offensive play of the game, Ole Miss used a 75-yard touchdown pass to make it 7-0 just 11 seconds into the game. Alabama responded with a fast three-play, 72-yard drive, capped by senior running back Damien Harris rumbling for a 43-yard score. Following the extra point from redshirt freshman Joseph Bulovas, the game was tied at 7-7 with 13:39 remaining in the first.
Later in the quarter, Alabama put together another quick scoring drive when Tagovailoa found Jeudy streaking down the middle of the field for a 79-yard score on third down. After the Bulovas kick, the Tide led 14-7 with 9:51 on the clock.
The Tide struck again following an Ole Miss fumble, methodically driving down the field in six plays, amassing 62 yards that ended with sophomore running back Najee Harris going untouched into the end zone for a 10-yard score. Bulovas’ extra point extended the Alabama advantage to 21-7 with 5:43 left in the opening quarter.
On the first play of the ensuing Ole Miss drive, Thompson ranged over from his safety position and intercepted the Jordan Ta’amu pass at the UA 45-yard line and raced 40 yards to the Ole Miss 15. Three plays later, Alabama found the end zone when Tagovailoa threw a dart to junior tight end Irv Smith Jr. for a 12-yard touchdown. Bulovas made it 28-7 with 4:40 in the first.
Midway through the second quarter, Alabama took over at its own 48-yard line after Ole Miss turned the ball over on downs. Four plays later, junior Josh Jacobs plowed his way to a four-yard score. Another Bulovas extra point pushed the lead to 35-7 with 7:18 to go before the half.
After an Ole Miss three-and-out, freshman Jaylen Waddle received the punt at the Alabama 33-yard line and returned it 30 yards to set up the UA offense at the Ole Miss 30-yard line. It only took the Tide three plays before junior quarterback Jalen Hurts found Jeudy for his second touchdown catch of the half, this one from 22 yards out. Bulovas’ extra point extended the Crimson Tide lead, 42-7.
Alabama added another touchdown before the half, when Hurts led the Tide down the field with a seven-play 50-yard drive, capped off by a 13-yard screen pass to sophomore wide receiver Henry Ruggs III. The point after attempt from Bulovas was good and UA held the 49-7 advantage going to the half.
The Tide amassed 418 total yards of offense in the first half. The 49 points at halftime are the most by an SEC team in a conference game since 2005.
Alabama started the second half where it left off. Jacobs took the second half kickoff 74 yards to the Ole Miss 23. The Tide made its way down to the Rebel two-yard line before Bulovas split the uprights on his 20-yard field goal attempt to put UA up 52-7.
With Ole Miss controlling the ball at its own 24-yard line, sophomore defensive back Xavier McKinney intercepted a Ta’amu pass and took it 30 yards for the touchdown. Bulovas converted his eighth extra point of the night to make it 59-7 with 5:04 left in the third quarter.
Toward the end of the third quarter, redshirt freshman Mac Jones entered the game at quarterback for the Tide and guided the offense down the field for a 13-play, 46-yard drive that ended with Bulovas’ career-long 44-yard field goal to push the lead to 62-7 with 12:16 left in the game, the eventual final score.
Alabama returns to Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 22 against Texas A&M for its first home SEC contest of the season. Kickoff between the Crimson Tide and Aggies is set for 2:30 p.m. CT with the game airing live on CBS.
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