Bo Wallace said he felt like he had to start taking some chances late in the game, and the Rebels found something in the passing game that hadn’t clicked like that earlier.
Ole Miss outscored Alabama 20-3 in the second half including 13 points in the last 5 minutes, 29 seconds.
Wallace, for all the criticism he receives, now has two wins against top-10 opponents as the Rebels’ starting quarterback. He’s also done something that no other Ole Miss quarterback — even ones named Manning — had ever done. That’s beat a top-ranked team. Alabama was No. 3 in the AP Top 25 but No. 1 in the USA Today coaches poll.
Wallace was 18-for-31 passing for 251 yards and three touchdowns with no turnovers. Laquon Treadwell made big catches while covered closely and finished with five receptions for 55 yards. Amari Cooper had nine grabs for 91 yards, but he didn’t get into the end zone. Treadwell did with a 14-yard catch from Wallace in the middle of the third quarter.
The focus of tomorrow’s game column in the Daily Journal is about how Ole Miss won this game without being perfect. So often you hear coaches or players say they have to be perfect to beat a team like Alabama. Ole Miss was far from it, including missing an extra point — twice — that would have given it a complete touchdown lead and not leave the idea of losing on a PAT hanging out there at the end. Senquez Golson erased that idea with his end zone interception.
The Ole Miss defense gave up some yards but not big plays. Alabama had 396 yards of total offense but scored only one touchdown with its offense. The total yardage is about 200 yards below the Tide’s average.
Ole Miss had 323 total yards on 12 fewer plays.
More tomorrow in Day After Observations.
At the Half:
The blown call on the facemask is a potential game-changer, but it won’t come into play unless the Ole Miss offense comes to play in the second half.
The Rebels aren’t sustaining drives and weren’t able to score on a trip inside the 15 in the first quarter.
They’ve run well in spots but not enough.
The I’Tavius Mathers fumble completed changed the complexion of this game. Ole Miss looked out of sorts in the few plays that followed. It’s good that halftime came quickly. The Rebels are going to have to do something to try and generate some offense in the second half.
At the break Ole Miss has 105 total yards to Alabama’s 176.
The Tide had only one drive inside the red zone but got seven points out of it where Ole Miss got none on its trip there.
Tragic as the blown call was, you simply can’t fumble there. You have to protect the ball.
Alabama’s touchdown drive went 68 yards in 12 plays. Lane Kiffin saw somethiing he liked on the left side and pounded TJ Yeldon there with success. Yeldon carried five times for 36 yards on the drive.
Ole Miss has played inspired defense, but the Ole Miss offense has now gone seven quarters without a touchdown against Alabama.