Tide rises after win
OXFORD, Miss. – Many Ole Miss fans took to social media to show pleasure in the Rebels’ never-say-die effort Saturday against No. 2 Alabama.
As it turns out, the fans were wrong.
The Ole Miss effort came against top-ranked Alabama.
In the new Associated Press poll, the Crimson Tide jumped Clemson to claim the top spot. The Tigers dropped a spot after escaping North Carolina, 21-20.
The Rebels led Bama 10-7 after the first quarter, but in the second period the Tide ran off 31-unanswered points to pull away.
“Tough loss. Got to give credit to Alabama,” Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke said.
“They’re a good football team – very explosive on offense, as we knew going in. We tried several different things – some zone and playing off of them, and we tried to press them and bring some pressure. Give them credit. They executed. We tried to run the ball early to try to make this a four-quarter game, but the middle of the second quarter got away from us, and we never recovered. Proud of the guys. They kept battling and competing. We’ll move forward and get better.”
Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke on Alabama
Even after the game was mostly out of reach, Ole Miss kept clawing and again outscored the Tide in the fourth quarter, but by that time the damage had been done.
Ole Miss hung 31 total points on Bama, the most Alabama has surrendered all season. More importantly, all four of the Rebels’ touchdowns came from freshmen. They will be able to take the successes they had in Tuscaloosa forward into the season and in their careers.
Future opponents who are ranked
Alabama is not the only team in this week’s poll that is on the Rebels’ radar. Future opponents are ranked as follows: LSU is No. 5, Auburn is ranked No. 7 and Texas A&M 25th.
Two other teams Ole Miss has played also received votes in the AP Poll. Cal picked up 141 but fell out of the Top 25 after losing to Arizona State and Memphis earned 71 points.
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.