Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cooper and McCarron lead Tide over pesky Rebels

The game started late, and the game wasn’t pretty, but the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the resilient Ole Miss Rebels by the score of 33-14.

With the victory, Alabama improves to 5-0 overall, and 2-0 in the SEC.

While the Crimson Tide looked lackadaisical at times, especially during the third quarter of play, Alabama was able to stifle the Rebels just enough to earn a comfortable triumph on the scoreboard.

The Tide defense used the “bend but don’t break” approach, and it proved successful in the long run. Courtesy of three forced turnovers, in the form of interceptions, the ‘Bama offense was able to take advantage.

Quarterback AJ McCarron had a steady outing for the Crimson Tide, as he completed 22-of-30 passes for 180 yards, including two touchdown strikes to freshman wide receiver Amari Cooper. While Cooper had been essentially “lurking in the shadows” during Alabama’s prior games, Cooper used the contest against Ole Miss as a personal showcase. To go along with the aforementioned touchdown receptions, Cooper caught a total of eight passes for 84 yards.

In respect to the special teams unit, the Tide had a wonderful performance. Jeremy Shelley went four-for-four in the field goal department, and following an Ole Miss second quarter touchdown, in which the Rebels took a 7-6 lead, Christion Jones returned the ensuing kickoff 99-yards for a Crimson Tide touchdown.

Although the contest appeared to be a “labor of mediocrity” at times, the Tide negated the Rebels more often than not, and essentially “drained” the game away.

Alabama will now take advantage of a much needed “open week” before returning to action Oct. 13 for an SEC road contest at Missouri.

>>>Complete stats and scoring summary<<<

McCarron breaks record

Courtesy of yet another “interception free” outing, Tide quarterback AJ McCarron has now thrown 206 consecutive passes without an interception. During the contest with Ole Miss, McCarron broke the school record of 190 passes, which was held by former ‘Bama quarterback Brodie Croyle.

Injury report

While Alabama looked “less that stellar” during various portions of the game against Ole Miss, the biggest issue, for everyone involved with the program, came in the form of injuries.

During Alabama’s initial possession of the game, wide receiver DeAndrew White suffered a right knee injury, and by all visual accounts, it appeared to be quite serious. White was carted to the locker room, and later returned to the sidelines on crutches. Per head coach Nick Saban, White will be reevaluated today.

Defensive back Deion Belue sustained a shoulder injury during the initial half against Ole Miss, and failed to return for the second half of action. Although Nick Saban deemed the injury as minor during his postgame presser, he did suggest that Belue could be out for a week or two.

In respect to the “cringe-worthy” moment of the night, that unfortunate honor went to Tide running back Dee Hart. The talented redshirt freshman, who missed the 2011 season due to a torn ACL in his right knee, appeared to sustain an injury to the same knee during the latter stages of the contest against Ole Miss.

As Hart fielded a punt, his right knee appeared to buckle, and he collapsed to the ground. While initially in obvious pain, Hart was ultimately able to leave the field under his own power, and was subsequently taken to the locker room. Like DeAndrew White, Dee Hart will be reevaluated today, per Nick Saban.

In the final minute of the contest, defensive end Ed Stinson appeared to suffer a leg injury, and was assisted to the locker room. While trainers did attend to Stinson on the field, Nick Saban failed to mention Stinson during his postgame presser.

One can only assume that Stinson was merely “shaken up” and did not sustain a legitimate injury that would create a minor or prolonged issue.

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