Even though they are ranked number one in the country, there has been a feeling that Alabama hasn’t looked like Alabama just yet. The defense in particular has received a fair share of criticism.
Today’s performance may silence some of those critics, as the Alabama defense came up huge, holding Ole Miss scoreless as the Tide won 25-0.
T.J. Yeldon rushed for 121 yards on only 17 carries, and Kenyan Drake added another 99 on the ground as the Tide started slow but finished strong in defeating the Rebels on Saturday in Tuscaloosa.
It was a day where both teams got off to slow starts, and it looked like a defensive struggle/example of offensive ineptitude. Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron was pressured early on by the Ole Miss defensive front, and wound up with a pedestrian stat line for the game (25 of 32, 180 yards, one interception), but he did not need to do much, since the Tide’s defense was extremely stingy-especially the run defense.
Ole Miss was averaging 490 yards per game in total offense before today, but could only manage 205 yards today. Rebels running back Jeff Scott entered the game averaging 110 yards per game but wound up with only 28 yards rushing on a mere eight carries.
The Tide defense also stifled quarterback Bo Wallace, tackling him in the end zone for a safety and allowing him to complete only 17 of 31 passes for 159 yards. The Rebels had some troubles extending drives, going four for 14 on third downs and one of four on fourth downs.
It was a dominating defensive performance from start to finish for Alabama, although now there may be questions about the consistency of the offense. However, a win in the SEC West is still a win, and it keeps the Tide marching down a path to Pasadena.
What’s next for Alabama: The Crimson Tide step out of conference play to face Georgia State before heading up to Kentucky to face the Wildcats on October 12.
What’s next for Ole Miss: The Rebels will travel back to Alabama next Saturday to face Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Then they have home games against Texas A&M and LSU. Not an easy schedule coming up.