In its second game after getting dominated by Texas last year, Ole Miss took some positives away from its 33-14 loss at No. 1 Alabama a year ago.
I don’t think this is the same Alabama team, and Ole Miss is improved. If the gap has in fact closed, Ole Miss’ chances this week will again depend on ball-protection and execution on offense.
Here are some things that stood out from last year’s game.
– Ole Miss had possession near mid-field late in the third quarter. Having driven for two scores already, the Rebels were down 27-14 and could have driven to make it a one-possession game. On first down from the 43, Bo Wallace was sacked for a 7-yard loss, and the Rebels punted on fourth-and-17.
– Ole Miss took a 7-6 lead with 13:40 left in the second quarter when Jeff Scott’s 1-yard run capped a 13-play, 75-yard drive. Seconds later the lead was gone when Alabama’s Christion Jones returned the kick 99 yards for a touchdown.
– The Rebels had three turnovers in the game, two interceptions by Bo Wallace, one by Randall Mackey.
– Ole Miss ran 68 plays, and at times Alabama appeared bothered by the tempo offense, but the Rebels finished with 218 yards.
– Mackey also scored on a 12-yard touchdown run when he got to the corner and went down the sideline.
– WR Vincent Sanders had a nice game with seven catches for 46 yards. He’s been back at practice but was held out against Texas. I would imagine Sanders will return this week.
– Then a freshman, Alabama receiver Amari Cooper had a big game with eight catches for 84 yards and two touchdowns.
– Ole Miss defended the screen passes well, limiting Eddie Lacy to 15 yards on three catches.
– Lacy averaged 4.3 yards per rush with 82 yards on 19 carries.
– Ole Miss held TJ Yeldon to less than 4 yards a carry with 38 yards on 10 attempts.