Tua Tagovailoa threw for 191 yards and two touchdowns, Jerry Jeudy caught two scoring passes and No. 1 Alabama buried Mississippi 62-7 on Saturday night.
Alabama (3-0) gave up a touchdown on the first play of the Southeastern Conference opener, but responded by scoring the next 62 points. The Tide’s offense had 516 total yards and was so effective that Tagovailoa’s evening was over by midway through the second quarter.
The left-handed sophomore completed 11 of 15 passes during his short time on the field. The Tide then turned to Jalen Hurts, who completed 7 of 10 passes for 85 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
It was so lopsided that third-string quarterback Mac Jones was in the game before the end of the third quarter. Alabama coach Nick Saban – not known as one who gives out compliments easily — had no complaints about how his team handled its first road game in a hostile environment.
“I’m going to have to give us a good grade in all those areas,” Saban said. “I was pleased.”
Ole Miss (2-1, 0-1) suffered through a second straight blowout loss to the Crimson Tide. The Rebels fell 66-3 last year in Tuscaloosa.
Jordan Ta’amu completed just 7 of 22 passes for 133 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
The game was in doubt for about 11 seconds. That’s the time it took for Ta’amu to find D.K. Metcalf for a 75-yard touchdown on the first play of the game. Ole Miss had a 7-0 lead and a packed Vaught-Hemingway Stadium was rocking.
Alabama wouldn’t be fooled again.
“We don’t dwell on plays like that,” Alabama defensive back Xavier McKinney said. “When that happened, we weren’t down about it. We just kept going, kept playing and I feel like we did a great job.”
The Tide scored 49 points by halftime, doing whatever it wanted against the Ole Miss defense. There were plenty of clues the Rebels would struggle to slow down the Tide — including giving up 629 total yards to Southern Illinois last week — but the onslaught was still stunning.
“We knew we’d have to capitalize off turnovers and execute to make it a four quarter game,” Ole Miss coach Matt Luke said. “We didn’t do that. We had chances early.”
Very few people expected Ole Miss to win this game, but a decently close outcome might have built some confidence for the Rebels. Obviously, that didn’t happen. The Ole Miss defense has been brutal through three games this season and the offense — other than the first 75-yard touchdown — looked out of sync. The Rebels will try to regroup next week against Kent State.
Alabama breezed to its first win of the season, and its most impressive feat was slowing down an Ole Miss offense that looked so good for the season’s first two weeks. The secondary was burned on the opening play, but when Ole Miss tried another deep ball on the next drive, Trevon Diggs knocked it away and the Tide cruised to a dominant performance.
Ole Miss hosts Kent State next Saturday.
Alabama hosts Texas A&M next Saturday.
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