The Alabama Crimson Tide took all the momentum late in the first half and dominated Ole Miss the second half on Saturday to extend its winning streak over the Rebels to eight games with a 24-10 victory.
Ole Miss (3-1, 0-1 SEC) came into the game with brimming confidence based on comments throughout the week, and early on it looked to be the makings of an upset after Jaxson Dart scampered in for a touchdown and a 7-3 lead in the first quarter. The Rebels defense bowed up admirably throughout the game and held Alabama to six points in the first half.
A field goal attempt late in the second quarter by Ole Miss K Caden Davis went wide, which would not have mattered in the outcome by seemed to start a momentum shift. Alabama received the ball to start the third quarter and drove down to kick a field goal to make the game 9-7 in favor of the Tide.
At this point, I cracked beer number three or four and thought, “OK, the defense is playing as good as expected, and now Dart has to drive the offense down for an answer.” Instead an interception thrown deep in Bama territory seemed to change the complexion of the game. Tide QB Jalen Milroe subsequently guided his offense down the field and suddenly Rebel fans were seeing 17-7 on the scoreboard.
Yes, there were missed calls by the officiating crew. Yes, the offensive gameplan was head scratching at times. But when it all comes down to it, there was just not enough explosive plays on offense and the line of scrimmage was controlled by Bama most of the game.
The Rebels next two games before a bye week will be in Oxford against LSU and Arkansas. For Lane Kiffin and his staff, the thought has to be getting back on track with wins at home to have a chance at getting back into the SEC West race. If Ole Miss can’t find its offensive identity again, this could turn into a very long two months for fans in Oxford.