Game Notes: Big crowd watches never-say-die Rebels
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Saturday marked the largest crowd to see the Rebels play this season. Prior to the Bryant-Denny Stadium crowd of 99,590, the biggest crowd at an Ole Miss game was 47,915 at home against Arkansas.
The only road crowd for Ole Miss so far in 2019 was the season-opener at Memphis. The Liberty Bowl saw a crowd of 44,107 that day.
Saturday’s crowd was the largest to witness an Ole Miss game since the Rebels went to Baton Rouge last year. The 2019 45-16 loss was in front of a crowd of 100,224 at Tiger Stadium.
BABY BLUES: The Rebels have worn the same baby blue helmets in each game this season. The headgear is 2-3.
Last season, the Ole Miss baseball team wore baby blue uniforms through its run to the SEC Tournament championship game in which it fell just short to Vanderbilt. The Rebs continued to wear the baby blues through winning the regional tournament in Oxford and into the final game at the Super Regionals in Fayetteville, Ark. The baby blues fell one game short of a berth in the College World Series.
BIG PLAY JRP: Last Saturday, on his first play as a college football player, true freshman quarterback John Rhys Plumlee ran 47 yards to convert a third-and-long against Cal. Later he completed a 41-yard pass to Demarcus Gregory to put the Rebels into the red zone.
Saturday, his longest run was 13 yards and his longest completion was 32 yards.
WHICH SPORT ARE WE PLAYING?: Prior to Saturday, Alabama had scored 62 and 66 points against Ole Miss in the past two games. In the last two meetings between the schools, Bama’s basketball team scored 74 and 62 points. If only the football team had hit its free throws.
A FIRST IN THE FIRST: Ole Miss outscored Alabama 10-7 in the first quarter. Not only was that the first quarter the Tide had been outscored all season, it was the first time they trailed this year.
NATIONAL EXPOSURE: Saturday’s game was aired by CBS and marked the third time the Rebels have appeared on national television. Last week’s game was broadcast by ESPNU and ABC showed the season-opener at Memphis.
The two Ole Miss wins – over Arkansas and Southeastern Louisiana – were aired by the SEC Network.
SIMILAR SCHEDULES: Both Ole Miss and Alabama must play a divisional schedule, but coincidentally, both must travel to Auburn and Mississippi State and host LSU and Texas A&M.
CHAMPS OF THE STATE?: Alabama is the only school in the country that plays all three Mississippi FBS teams. After Saturday’s win over Ole Miss and last week’s 49-7 victory over Southern Miss, the Tide just needs to beat Mississippi State in November to secure the Magnolia State trifecta.
FAMILIAR FACES: In the second quarter, Jacquez Jones tackled Alabama’s Brian Robinson, Jr., and that probably was not the first time that has happened. The pair played together at Tuscaloosa’s Hillcrest High School and more than likely butted heads in practice.
Two other players went against one another after playing at the same south Florida High School. Bama’s Jordan Battle was a part of the Alabama secondary that had to cover the Rebels’ Elijah Moore. The duo played together at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale.
ATTENTION MR. WEAVER: Cal linebacker Evan Weaver wasn’t impressed with Ole Miss last week nor did he have any praise for Matt Corral. Weaver made sure he vocalized his opinion to the media. The Bears won by eight points over Ole Miss although his team was almost beaten in come-from-behind fashion by a true freshman quarterback who took his first collegiate snaps last week.
Friday night, Cal lost its starting quarterback and the Bears lost by seven to Arizona State. Karma is a great thing.
After watching the Sun Devils beat Cal and what Alabama did to Ole Miss, the Bears would probably finish fifth or sixth in the SEC West.
If Evan Weaver thinks any differently, he must be holding a half-empty bottle of Evan Williams.
Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers.
He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio.
A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series.
Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time.
He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk.
Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.