Ole Miss Upsets Alabama

Second ranked Alabama had every reason to stick it to number 15 Ole Miss last night in Tuscaloosa. Last year the Rebels scored 13 fourth quarter points to steal a victory and stun the Tide in Oxford. This year was supposed to be revenge and an exclamation point for Bama as they stomped toward another College Football Playoff. It didn’t happen. Mississippi punched the nine-point favorite Crimson Tide in the mouth from the opening kickoff, and finished them off in the fourth quarter 43-37. Alabama fumbled on the opening return and continued to cough up the ball in a shockingly sloppy performance for a Saban coached team.

Alabama turned the ball over five times. Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly threw for 341 yards, and the Rebel defense squeezed any hope for an Alabama comeback. Every time Bama creeped back into the game Mississippi squashed their hopes. Ole Miss went up 17-0 on two fumbled kick returns and an interception from first time starter Cooper Bateman. Bateman struggled against a powerful Mississippi pass rush and a lightning quick secondary.

Bama was counting on a big second half from Bateman’s replacement Jake Coker. Coker didn’t fare any better, throwing two interceptions. The second one was the final nail in the coffin for Alabama. Coker’s pick killed a drive with less than two minutes remaining and sealed Mississippi’s second major upset in two years.

Alabama’s Derrick Henry rushed for 127 yards on 23 carries; but he, and the Tide’s running game, never controlled the game. Bama, and Saban’s fate, was left to a crippled passing game. Ole Miss seized every opportunity and never really relinquished their grip on the pace of the game. Mississippi’s fortunes were summed up in one play as Chad Kelly lost control of a shotgun snap, reversed ground, and threw a pass that ricocheted off a Bama helmet and into the waiting arms of wide receiver Quincy Adeboyejo, who made a dash for the end zone to give Ole Miss a 24-10 lead. Saban and Alabama should have known right then and there that it was going to be a long night.

Last night’s upset was only the second win for Ole Miss over Alabama in Tuscaloosa in a series dating back to 1894. The only other time was in 1988 when Ole Miss won 22-12. It was also the first time in the history of the series that Ole Miss has won consecutive games over Alabama.