#8 Alabama - 23, Mississippi - 10
- Don Kausler Jr., Tuscaloosa Bureau
October 16, 2010
TUSCALOOSA - An Alabama football team that was a little lost is found. But the
eighth-ranked Crimson Tide probably is still looking for more.
Trent Richardson rushes upfield against the Ole Miss Rebels
in their 23 - 10 win.
Shaking off a rare loss, the Tide found most of its mojo on defense, made an explosive
play on offense and generally sparkled on special teams.
It all added up to a 23-10 homecoming victory over Ole Miss in the late, late show
Saturday night at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Alabama (6-1, 3-1 in the Southeastern Conference) was coming off a 35-21 loss to South
"The intensity was good," Alabama coach Nick Saban said. "The execution was not what it
needs to be, but that's something we can improve on."
The pesky Rebels (3-3, 1-2), a 21-point underdog, came into the game ranked first in
the Southeastern Conference in scoring offense (37.2 ppg) and last in scoring defense
The elements were there for a shootout, but it never materialized.
The potential also was there for a blowout, but the Tide couldn't quite break this
one open. It led 23-3 in the third quarter after running back Trent Richardson raced
85 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown after catching a short pass from Greg
McElroy on a third-and-13 play.
But the Rebels, who lost to Jacksonville State and Vanderbilt early in the season, kept
the Tide from pulling away. Jeremiah Masoli threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Melvin
Harris with 4:40 left in the third quarter to keep it close.
Credit an Alabama defense that allowed five touchdowns the previous week for returning
the Tide to the winning track.
"(The defense) had the whole package tonight -- effort, focus, execution, it was all
there," said Alabama junior strong safety Mark Barron, whose fourth-quarter interception
sealed the victory. "And we got great results."
Senior tight end Preston Dial, who caught a 7-yard touchdown pass on the Tide's first
possession, gave credit where it was due.
"The defense really gave us an opportunity to win," he said. "The offense came through
when we needed to, but we have some adjustments to make, and we look forward to making
them on Sunday."
Masoli completed 18 of 40 passes for 110 yards. He had one pass intercepted. The
Rebels finished with 243 total yards, of which 202 came in the second half.
Alabama gained 219 of its 319 yards in the air as McElroy completed 17 of 25 passes.
He was sacked four times, three fewer than a week ago, and did not have a pass
The Rebels had the ball seven times in the first half, and Alabama's defense forced
The Tide scored a touchdown and three field goals to take a 16-3 halftime lead. The
touchdown was Alabama's first on a first possession since a 62-13 victory in Week 3
Ole Miss scored its only points in the first half because Marquis Maze lost a fumble
on a punt return, giving the Rebels the ball on Alabama's 21-yard line. That led to a
22-yard field goal by Bryson Rice, which came after Alabama had taken a 13-0 lead.
The Tide ended the half with a 44-yard field goal by Cade Foster, who also kicked a
49-yarder in the first quarter. Jeremy Shelley has a 19-yard field goal for the Tide.
The early touchdown pass to Dial came after it looked as if the Tide was going to
have to settle for a 37-yard field goal by Shelley. But the Rebels were penalized
for roughing the kicker, Alabama got a first down and went on to score the touchdown.
The Tide's defense dominated the first half. Ole Miss had only two first downs and
41 yards of total offense on 27 plays. The Rebels ran 15 times for 27 yards. Masoli
completed only 3 of 12 passes for 14 yards.
Richardson finished with 101 yards receiving and 45 yards rushing.
"We did what we had to do to get the win," he said.
"We needed a game like this. We had a minor setback, and we needed to comeback big
after the loss. We got the win tonight and will continue to work on things in practice
to get better."
Alabama travels to Knoxville next Saturday to play against the Volunteers of
Tennessee. The game will be televised on ESPN at 6:00pm CT.