Alabama vs. Ole Miss score, takeaway: no. 9 Tide survivors no. 11 Rebels behind Bryce Young’s three TDs

Alabama vs.  Ole Miss score, takeaway: no.  9 Tide survivors no.  11 Rebels behind Bryce Young’s three TDs

Alabama vs. Ole Miss score, takeaway: no. 9 Tide survivors no. 11 Rebels behind Bryce Young’s three TDs

No. 9 Alabama rallied from a 10-point second-half deficit to top No. 11 Ole Miss 30-24 in a key SEC West game Saturday afternoon in Oxford, Mississippi. Ole Miss quarterback Jaxson Dart missed Jonathan Mingo in the end zone on fourth-and-16 from the 20-yard line to essentially end the game and give the Crimson Tide a much-needed win after coach Nick Saban’s team had lost two of its previous three.

Alabama star quarterback Bryce Young threw for three touchdowns as the reigning Heisman Trophy winner once again made several spectacular plays to keep his team in the game. Young’s heroics helped set up kicker Will Reichard for a 49-yard field goal with 2:02 left to give the Tide a 6-point lead, which proved crucial as it forced Ole Miss to try for a touchdown inside the red zone with under a minute to play instead of giving the Rebels a chance to kick a field goal to force overtime.

Reichard’s 23-yard field goal with 11:19 remaining to break a 24-24 tie came on an eight-play, 44-yard drive after an Ole Miss punt. Running back Jase McClellan had four catches for 35 yards on the drive after stepping in for an ineffective Jahmyr Gibbs as Alabama’s primary rusher.

Young tied the game late in the third quarter when he came out and found Ja’Corey Brooks in the back of the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown, capping a 14-play, 75-yard drive that coach Saban’s crew desperately needed after his defense faced 59 games through the first two plus quarters.

The Tide’s late charge to win came after the Rebels virtually controlled the first three quarters. True freshman Quinshon Judkins scored two touchdowns in the first half, giving him 15 for the season — an Ole Miss single-season record. His second touchdown — a 1-yard plunge with 5:09 to play in the second quarter — gave the Rebels a 17-7 lead.

Here are highlights from Alabama’s win over Ole Miss:

Young continues to show leadership

It’s common to label the reigning Heisman Trophy winner as the MVP in a big win over a ranked team, but Young deserves a lot of credit here. HIS three touchdown passes were his most since Sept. 24, when he threw four in a 55-3 win over Vanderbilt. Yes, the lingering effects of the shoulder injury suffered against Arkansas on Oct. 1 clearly took a toll on him; however, his ability to hit field goals and move around the pocket to cash in on touchdowns instead of field goals played a big role in this win.

More importantly, Young continues to show tremendous leadership. CBS Sports cameras caught Young firing his offensive line after a fumbled fourth-and-1 at the end of a first quarter that half the line thought was game-tying, while the other half thought it was a plan to run out the clock . Even though Saban was in the middle of that side chat, Young was doing all the talking.

That fire is something this Alabama team has lacked over the past month, but Young provided it Saturday afternoon. In the process, he may have saved his team’s chances for a New Year’s Six bowl berth.

Jase is on the case (for RB1)

Gibbs entered Saturday’s game as the Crimson Tide’s unquestioned No. 1, but it was against the Rebels. The Georgia Tech transfer had 3 yards on six carries in the first half and just one catch for 5 yards. Saban replaced Jase McClellan at halftime and it was a decision that probably won.

McClellan had 19 carries for 84 yards, and three of those touchdowns were explosive plays of 10 yards or more. McClellan provided much-needed balance to an offense that was one-dimensional in the first half, allowing the Ole Miss defense to bounce off an Alabama offensive line that has struggled all season.

Is McClellan the new No. 1 running back? We will see. Saban made a bold statement by benching Gibbs, so it’s clear he’s open to all options.

Judkins should be the SEC Freshman of the Year

LSU linebacker Harold Perkins Jr late payments for that honor, but Judkins does it all year. The Pike Road, Ala., native had 135 yards and two touchdowns against an Alabama team that didn’t recruit him much in high school. He entered the game averaging 114.89 yards per game, making him one of only two players in the conference (Arkansas’ Raheim Sanders) to average at least 100 yards per game. It was Judkins’ seventh 100-yard performance of the season in an offense built on establishing runs and using pace to pick up the top of opposing defenses.

The Rebels are still in line to make a New Year’s Six bowl game if they win out, and Judkins deserves a ton of credit for that.

Another ‘Young’ standout

Alabama EDGE threat Will Anderson Jr. has been in the spotlight all season, but nobody else up front for the Crimson Tide seemed to get any love. That changed on Saturday when Byron Young had the game of his life. The 6-foot-3, 292-pound senior from Laurel, Mississippi had 11 tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss, a pass breakup, two quarterback hurries and one forced fumble. To put it more succinctly: he was a monster.

Without Young, Alabama probably wouldn’t have slowed the Ole Miss offense in the second half, and Bryce Young would have had to do even more to avoid the upset. Byron Young has done the dirty work for most of the season, but he spent his time in the spotlight shredding the Ole Miss defensive line Saturday afternoon in Oxford.

#Alabama #Ole #score #takeaway #Tide #survivors #Rebels #Bryce #Youngs #TDs

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