FINAL: Alabama 33, Ole Miss 14

VIDEO: Dan Werner

VIDEO: Dave Wommack

That’s not too far off the 35-11 I put up in the predictions post.

Well, Hugh Freeze hasn’t talked winning and losing he was hired, and that’s OK, because nobody expected the Rebels to win this game. Where Freeze was a winner, however, is the effort with which his team played and continued to play throughout the be

That has been his biggest talking point — competing for 60 minutes — and the Rebels did that. There were real concerns about this team defensively after Texas moved at will. Tonight the Rebels held a very good offensive team to 304 total yards and made Alabama settle for field goals more often than touchdowns.

Both of the Tide’s offensive touchdowns — passes from A.J. McCarron to Amari Cooper — came on third-down plays, so the Rebels were close to forcing fourth-down decisions on those drives too.

As I write to you, Nick Saban’s presser has come on the stadium screens. Here’s what he says about Ole Miss “A hard-fought win for us. People don’t give Ole Miss enough credit. They’re really playing hard, they’re very physical, hard to defend.”

Alabama finished with 304 yards, far fewer than the almost 700 yards Texas put on the Rebels just two weeks ago.

The fumbles, such a problem at Tulane last week, were much improved. The Rebels went from six fumbles to zero.

Not that there weren’t turnovers. Bo Wallace was intercepted twice, Randall Mackey once. Two of those three interceptions came when Wallace and later Mackey were trying to get the ball to the Rebels’ best play-maker, Donte Moncrief. Alabama simply took that way.

Wallace’s first interception came when he was trying to make a difficult throw, rolling right, and throwing back left … and with a bad shoulder. Probably not a good decision, but when you’re out there you’re trying to make a play. Overall ball-protection wasn’t bad.

Bottom line is Alabama is really good on defense, probably the best the Rebels will face. The offensive short-comings were more about Alabama being Alabama than the Rebels stopping themselves as they occasionally did against Tulane.

More Saban: “We really only had one true drive, and turnovers were the difference in the game.”

The Rebels finished with 218 yards, a season-low.

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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  • Proud to be an Ole Miss Rebel tonight, even at 3-2. Lot of heart seen tonight. Hotty Toddy!

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