Alabama Shuts Ole Miss Out, 25-0

Kevin C. Cox

The Rebels failed to execute and capitalize, and were shut down in Tuscaloosa.

The Alabama Crimson Tide rode a stifling rush defense and typical Nick Saban opportunistic football to a 25-0 shutout victory over Ole Miss in Tuscaloosa tonight. Our Rebels couldn't establish any sort of a rushing attack, being held to a mere 46 yards on the ground - which contrasts rather sharply with Ole Miss 200+ yards per game averaged over the other three games of the season - and failed to capitalize on big play opportunities in the passing game.

In short, Alabama had a great defensive gameplan and executed it to near perfection. Our Rebs had their backs to the wall for the entire game, and missed seemingly every opportunity to swing momentum in their favor (such as the defense forcing three fumbles but recovering none of them).

Here's a sobering fact: the last time Ole Miss was shut out was 1998, when both Auburn and Arkansas shut the Rebels out. That team still went to and won a bowl game, so this season is nowhere close to over, y'all. Don't get all chicken little on us yet.

And while I'm here, let me somewhat set up a straw man; something in particular that folks are sure to talk about over the next week is Hugh Freeze's decisions to go for it on several fourth downs within field goal range. I can say with the luxury of hindsight that, if we had made those field goals anyway, something which is far from a given, we would have still lost the ballgame. What this indicates about our coach's decision making I cannot say, nor will I pretend to have such clairvoyance.

Whatever. We'll talk about this more tomorrow. It's time to sleep this one off and focus on Auburn for next week.

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