Postgame Points: Ole Miss vs Alabama
Point No.1: Rebels Remain Unbeaten
Without a doubt, the biggest postgame point this week is that the Ole Miss Rebels remain unbeaten. With Ole Miss defeating #1 Alabama 23-17 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on Saturday, the Rebels improve to 5-0 on the season. As well, the Rebels move to 2-0 in SEC play. Ole Miss, Auburn, and Mississippi State are tied atop the SEC West standings at the moment.
After one of the biggest wins in school history, Ole Miss was rewarded with the No. 3 ranking in the AP Top 25 Poll. The Rebels sit at No. 4 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.
The victory over Alabama will be celebrated for a long time. Ole Miss players, coaches, and fans should cherish this special moment. With ESPN’s College GameDay in Oxford to create a lot of pregame excitement, the postgame celebration on the field and in The Grove was an incredible experience. Yet, the Rebels have to get right back to business to stay unbeaten, given the schedule ahead in the coming weeks. Ole Miss travels to #14 Texas A&M this weekend.
Point No. 2: Defense
The Ole Miss defense continues to be a staple in the Postgame Points week after week. The defense has played at a phenomenal level all season.
On Saturday, the Landshark defense shut down #1 Alabama like no other team in recent memory. As well, the Rebel defense outplayed their counterparts from Alabama, something that has rarely happened since Nick Saban became the coach in Tuscaloosa.
There are not enough words to describe how great the Ole Miss defense has performed week in and week out. This unit has to be considered one of the best, if not the best, in the country.
On Saturday, the Rebel defense allowed the Crimson Tide to score just 10 points and forced 2 crucial turnovers, as well. When the Ole Miss offense struggled to put points on the board in the first half, the defense kept the Rebels in the game. When the offense put the Rebels ahead in the fourth quarter, it was the defense who put the finishing touches on the upset of the Crimson Tide.
The Ole Miss defense is a big reason that the Rebels are 5-0 on the year and sitting in first place in the rugged SEC West. The Rebels have the dominant defense needed to compete for the SEC championship.
Point No.3: Offense
The Ole Miss offense was efficient and effective in the victory over Alabama. The Rebels put up 323 yards of total offense against the Crimson Tide. Along with West Virginia, the 23 points scored by the Rebels are the most allowed by Alabama this season.
The Rebel offense earned 16 first downs against the Crimson Tide, including 12 of them through the air. The offense did not have an interception on the day, and the only fumble by the Rebels came on a play where Alabama should have been called for a face-mask penalty.
While Ole Miss has put up bigger offensive numbers in previous games, one must consider the opponent to truly appreciate how good the Rebel offense played on Saturday.
The offensive numbers are impressive coming against #1 Alabama, who annually fields one of the top defensive units in the country. The Ole Miss offense was better than the Alabama defense. There are few teams in America who can make that claim. Yet, the Rebels earned that distinction by the way the offense performed on Saturday on the big stage.
Point No.4: Bo Wallace
Bo Wallace played an outstanding game against Alabama. The senior quarterback delivered a clutch performance in the biggest game of the season, thus far, for Ole Miss. He was confident and poised all afternoon, and he stood tall in the fourth quarter when the game was on the line, making crucial completions at critical times to help the Rebels pull off the upset of top-ranked Alabama.
Wallace completed 18 of his 31 pass attempts for 251 yards and 3 touchdowns with no interceptions against the Crimson Tide. In addition, Wallace ran for 32 yards. He did not turn the ball over once, and he made big throws time and time again late in the game to help Ole Miss take down Alabama.
Wallace was at his best when the pressure was at its highest level on Saturday. Ole Miss needs to have outstanding performances by team leaders like Bo Wallace in the big games ahead on the schedule to remain in the mix for the SEC championship.
Point No.5: Clutch Performers
There were a number of clutch performers for Ole Miss on Saturday in the upset of #1 Alabama. Bo Wallace was remarkable, and the defense as a unit was stingy and stout.
Will Gleeson averaged more than 47 yards-per-punt and pinned Alabama inside their own 20 yard line twice.
Tony Conner had 10 tackles, while Trae Elston had 9 tackles and broke up a pass. Cody Prewitt recorded 8 tackles and broke up a pass. Bryon Bennett had 6 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 quarterback-hurry for his stat line. Channing Ward forced a fumble that Kailo Moore recovered to set up the winning drive for Ole Miss. Senquez Golson finished off the upset of the Crimson Tide with his interception in the final minute.
The list of players who stepped up in a big way against Alabama could go on and on, but the entire team and coaching staff deserves applause for an incredible effort that resulted in one of the greatest wins in the history of Ole Miss football.
Jeff is a college sports fanatic who was able to recognize many D1 team logos by kindergarten. Growing up, Jeff played football, baseball, basketball, and ran track/cross country. Jeff’s love for college sports was expanded while running track/cross country at Indiana University, where he earned a General Education degree and attended every sporting event possible when not running for the Hoosiers. A proud parent and husband, Jeff resides in Oxford. His wife is an Ole Miss graduate, and Jeff has a year of post-graduate studies at Ole Miss under his belt. Jeff and his family can be found at just about any Ole Miss sporting event throughout the year. Jeff follows the idea of God, Family/Friends, and Football as a way of life. Writing about Ole Miss sports plays to Jeff’s love affair with collegiate athletics perfectly!