Ole Miss vs. Alabama: Live Game Grades and Analysis for Crimson Tide

Kevin W. RyanContributor IIISeptember 28, 2013

TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 21:  AJ McCarron #10 of the Alabama Crimson Tide walks off the field after their 31-6 win over the Colorado State Rams at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 21, 2013 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the Ole Miss Rebels as the top-ranked Crimson Tide maintained their unblemished record by improving to 4-0. The loss drops Ole Miss to 3-1. 

Final Score: Alabama 25, Mississippi 0

For the full box score, check out NCAA.com

Check back here at halftime for first-half grades for the Crimson Tide. Also, come back here at the end of the game for final-game grades.


Final Analysis for the Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Ole Miss

Pass Offense: A.J. McCarron began the game with a very efficient start and finished the first half completing 20 of 23 passes for 135 yards. Though McCarron finished the game completing 25 of 32 pass attempts for 180 yards (1 INT, 0 TD), the Heisman hopeful experienced some obvious miscommunication with his receivers and offensive line, and a good team can easily capitalize on this weakness.

Run Offense: T.J. Yeldon finished the first half with just 32 yards on ten attempts, despite a long 23-yard gain. In the second half, though, Yeldon found a hole in the third quarter and exploded for an incredible 68-yard touchdown. Sophomore Kenyan Drake broke a tackle in the backfield and blew away the Mississippi secondary with a 50-yard touchdown run that buried any and all hope for the Rebels. Bama finished the game rushing the ball through seven different players for a total of 40 carries, 255 yards and two touchdowns.

Pass Defense: The Tide had some obvious holes in their defense in the first half, with Ole Miss’ Bo Wallace moving the ball down the field to the tune of 10-of-14 passing and 111 yards.  He finished going 17-of-31 with 159 passing yards. The Tide’s secondary benefited from an errant pass from the running back and got an interception, and finished the game keeping Ole Miss scoreless for the entire 60 minutes.

Run Defense: Alabama’s defense began the day tremendously by stopping Ole Miss on the ground. Mississippi finished the first half with just four rush attempts for eight yards, and because their pass rush was so effective, Bo Wallace was credited with 12 rushing attempts for just nine yards. Holding Mississippi to just 49 yards rushing in 60 minutes will surely keep the defense well rested.

Special Teams: Alabama’s special teams as a whole did not live up to expectations. Mississippi punted six times and Bama’s return squad finished with a total of three return yards. A bad snap in the first almost cost them a horrible mistake near the 10-yard-line. However, kicker Cade Foster put 11 points on the board by finishing three of three kicking, including a career-long 53-yard field goal, and two extra points.

Coaching: Saban started the game fairly equal with his plays, calling 23 pass plays and 14 rushing plays total in the first half. Once the game moved to 16-0 after TJ Yeldon exploded for a 68-yard touchdown, Saban brought more and more running plays into the game to milk the clock and keep Mississippi scoreless. He is without a doubt the best college coach in the nation for this continued success.