By Parrish Alford
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The failed fourth-down run by freshman wide receiver Laquon Treadwell was something Hugh Freeze had worked on specifically for that situation, the Rebels coach said.
He had a chance to try it out on the opening possession of the Rebels’ 25-0 loss to No. 1 Alabama.
“We had planned that play for the first short (yardage),” he said. “I thought we should have got it. I wish we’d have put our foot in the ground and go a little harder and understand the down and distance. We’ve got to learn from it.”
Freeze said Alabama bit on the run when Treadwell came up short, but not so much later in the first quarter when Treadwell chose to pass instead of run and was picked off.
On the play prior to Treadwell’s short fourth-down run, the Rebels faced third-and-1 with split backs Jeff Scott and I’Tavius Mathers.
Freeze has said he considers Mathers the team’s best inside runner, but Scott was stopped for no gain when he turned inside.
Alabama fumbled three times in the first half, but Ole Miss was not able to recover a single one.
“It’s aggravating,” Ole Miss safety Cody Prewitt said. “We had three opportunities to get a turnover at a crucial point in the game and weren’t able to capitalize on it. You can’t keep thinking about that. You have to play the next play.”
The Rebels were minus-1 in turnover ratio for the game, losing Treadwell’s interception and a fourth-quarter fumble by Bo Wallace.
Wallace finished the game 17-for-31 passing for 159 yards with no interceptions.
He has now thrown 133 passes without an interception dating back to the second quarter of the Compass Bowl win over Pittsburgh.
Key Number – 151
The Rebels went 151 games without being shutout prior to Saturday’s loss to Alabama.
Alabama moved 75 yards in two plays, scoring on a 68-yard touchdown run by T.J. Yeldon with the opening kick of the third quarter. It was the first touchdown of the game and gave the Tide what seemed like a commanding 16-0 lead in a game it was already controlling defensively.
“We just didn’t have fun like we’re used to. We didn’t come out and execute like we’re supposed to. We made a lot of mistakes on small things.” – <b>Ole Miss WR Donte Moncrief</b>
The Rebels are back on the road at Auburn (3-1), which had an open date Saturday.
The Rebels were outgained for the first time this season, 434-205. … Donte Moncrief led the Rebels offensively with six catches for 60 yards. Laquon Treadwell added four catches for 51 yards including a 38-yard gain after catching a tipped ball on the Rebels’ first play. … The Ole Miss defense had seven tackles for loss and has 16 TFLs for the season. … The seven TFLs came by seven different players. … Sophomore linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche, playing for the first time since suffering a knee sprain in the season opener, had four tackles and a forced fumble.