Sunday, October 17, 2010

Taking the Defensive: ‘Bama Stymies Ole Miss

TUSCALOOSA - OCTOBER 17:  Alabama Crimson Tide mascot Big Al cheers on the field before the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on October 17, 2009.  The Crimson Tide beat the Gamecocks 20-6.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Courtesy of a sound defensive effort and an opportune 85-yard touchdown by Trent Richardson, the No. 7 Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the Ole Miss Rebels by a score of
23-10 on homecoming.

For yet another week the Alabama rushing attack was held in check, but the Crimson Tide defense came ready to play.

Ole Miss quarterback Jeremiah Masoli was suffocated by the Alabama defensive pressure and spent the majority of the game on the run.

The Tide kept Masoli guessing and kept the Ole Miss offense off-balance.

From a defensive standpoint, this was the best game of the 2010 season for 'Bama in terms of pressuring the opposing quarterback and forcing errant passes.

Masoli finished the game 18 of 40 for 110 yards. The Ole Miss quarterback did throw a touchdown pass, but he also threw a critical interception late in the game to seal the Alabama victory.

Entering the contest with Ole Miss, the Alabama defense was second in major college football in respect to interceptions. The Mark Barron interception of Jeremiah Masoli (mentioned above) gave the Crimson Tide the overall lead with a total of 13 for the season.

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 07:  Julio Jones #8 of the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Louisiana State University Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 7, 2009 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Alabama receiver Julio Jones started the contest against Ole Miss, but only caught one pass before leaving the game after aggravating his broken hand.

Coach Nick Saban confirmed that Jones could have returned to action, but the decision was made to keep the Tide wide receiver on the sidelines for the remainder of the game unless he was undeniably needed for action.

Jones aggravated the hand when a pass bent his finger back, which caused obvious discomfort in his broken/surgically repaired left hand.


-The Alabama defense held Ole Miss to only 10 points. Prior to the contest with Alabama, the Rebels had been averaging 37 points per game.

-Trent Richardson’s 85-yard screen pass reception for a touchdown was the longest play from scrimmage in his Alabama playing career. Richardson finished the game with a total of five receptions for 101 yards and the aforementioned touchdown.

-Ole Miss had 12 penalties against Alabama for a total of 106 yards.

-Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy completed 17 of 25 passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns.

-The Crimson Tide have won 18 consecutive games at Bryant-Denny Stadium which matches the third-longest home winning streak in school history. The current streak is the longest since 1935.

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