During the 2016 Alabama football season, The Crimson White’s Terrin Waack will provide select stellar stats, obscure facts and notable quotes from the most recent game to take readers Behind the Process.
No. 1 Alabama defeated No. 17 Ole Miss, 48-43, at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi, on Saturday.
Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen returned an interception for a touchdown. The 6-foot-3, 291-pound defensive beast ran that ball back a long 75 yards.For his first punt return ever, defensive back Eddie Jackson ran it back 85 yards to score. The last time Alabama produced a touchdown that way was against Michigan State in the 2016 CFP Semifinal with Cyrus Jones’ 57-yard return.With 66,176 people in attendance, Saturday’s game resulted in the largest college football crowd ever in the state of Mississippi.Jalen Hurts is the first Alabama quarterback since Tyler Watts in 2011 (110 also vs. Ole Miss) to rush for more than 100 yards — he totaled 146 yards. Saturday’s game lasted more than four hours. It started at 2:40 p.m. and ended at 6:42 p.m.
The Rebels had a 24-3 lead over the Crimson Tide during the second quarter to tie the largest deficit Alabama has ever faced and overcome. Its counterpart is a 1989 game, which featured another Alabama win over Ole Miss. The 21-point deficit also marked the largest coach Nick Saban has ever faced since taking over Alabama in 2007.Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly recorded a 49-yard punt. Repeat: The quarterbackpunted the football 49 yards. Kelly’s punt was also the only one from Ole Miss to land within the 20-yard line, too.With less than a minute left in the game, every Jumbotron in the stadium had “please stay off the field” displayed in all caps. Relevancy: Last time Alabama played in Vaught-Hemingway (2014), it lost by a touchdown and Ole Miss fans rushed the field. They eventually brought down a goal post, too. Alabama wide receiver ArDarius Stewart sprained his knee during the first half and remained on the sideline for the rest of the game — with an axe in hand. No one could explain after the game why Stewart was wielding an axe, not even Saban, but Stewart did turn to Twitter on Sunday to explain:
“Axe= assassins… Had to lead my troops off the field and not let them see me down and out .. I just want the W !!!!! #3peat?????” (Stewart dubbed the receiving corps as the “assassins” earlier this fall.)
Best Nick Saban quote
On overcoming adversity…
“I actually talked to the players and asked them if they like football. They said, ‘Yeah, we like it.’ Everybody raised their hand. Then I said, ‘How many of you love it? How many of you really love it?’ And a lot of guys put their hand up. And I said, ‘How many guys here really love their teammates?’ And everybody put their hand up.
“… I told the players, you can overcome the burden if you really love. That’s how you overcome burdens. People who quit can’t overcome burdens. We’ll have burdens in this game and we’ll have to overcome them. That was the message coming her. I said, ‘If you really love each other, you’ll be able to overcome whatever we have to.’”
Upon entering the press conference room…
“There was only one thing I was hoping for in here, that there was a seat. We have coaches getting IVs, we have players getting IVs, but the old fella doesn’t need one.”
Best player quote
Linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton:
On his emotions those last two minutes…
“Oh man, I was telling some players I feel like I lost five years of my life. Ole Miss has got a really good team. Welcome to the SEC.”
On Allen’s interception-turned-touchdown:
“He probably hasn’t score a touchdown in his whole life. That was a bittersweet because in practice, he’s always talking, ‘Bro, I’m going to score a touchdown.’”
Top 3 rushers
1. UA: Jalen Hurts, 18 carries for 146 yards2. UA: Damien Harris, 16 carries for 144 yards and a touchdown3. OM: Chad Kelly, 13 carries for 48 yards
Top 3 receivers (based on receptions)
1. OM: Evan Engram, nine receptions for 138 yards and a touchdown2. UA: Calvin Ridley, eight receptions for 81 yards3. OM: Van Jefferson, six receptions for 91 yards
Top 3 passers
1. UA: Jalen Hurts, 19-31-0 for 158 yards (sacked once)2. OM: Chad Kelly, 26-41-1 for 421 yards and three touchdowns (sacked twice)3. None
Top 3 defenders (based on total tackles)
1. UA: Reuben Foster, 12 total tackles 2. OM: Terry Caldwell, 10 total tackles (a forced fumble)3. OM: A.J. Moore, nine total tackles (a tackle for loss)
Alabama is 3-0 and plays Kent State next Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium at 11 a.m.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports