By (Tyler Waldrep)

Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen found himself flat on his back with 5:28 left in the fourth quarter Saturday in Vaught-Heminway Stadium. With the football in his right hand, Allen stretched it up to the Oxford, Mississippi, sky.

Allen had just returned an interception 75 yards to give No. 1 Alabama a 48-30 lead over No. 17 Ole Miss.
“The ball just happened to bounce my way,” Allen said. “Thank God for my teammates blocking for me. They’re the ones that really allowed me to get to the end zone and I have to give them a lot of credit.”
At the time, it looked like Allen had ended the Rebels’ chance of climbing back into a game they had once led by 21 points with the Crimson Tide’s third and final non-offensive touchdown of Saturday’s game. Alabama, however, ended up needing every single score it produced to finish with a 48-43 victory over the Rebels.

With only minutes remaining and the Rebels looking to drive the field, the loudspeaker said it best:
“Get outta your mind.”
Ole Miss quickly drove the field, then recovered an onside kick with 2:59 remaining. It only took the Rebels one play to find the end zone again to draw within five points of Alabama.

Alabama linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton said the defense prides itself on finding the end zone — the Crimson Tide has done so four times now this season. That success didn’t keep him from sweating out the final minutes of the game with his teammates, though.
“I was telling some players I feel like I lost five years of my life,” Hamilton said.
“Get outta your mind.”
Alabama coach Nick Saban said he didn’t remember being a part of a game with as many big momentous shifts as this one.
“What a great college football game,” Saban said. “… This game was so wild, I am not sure whatever happened in the game that something crazy wouldn’t happen past that.”
A sack in the second quarter knocked Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts off his feet and the ball out of his hands. Ole Miss defender John Youngblood recovered the fumble and returned it 44 yards for a touchdown, giving the Rebels a 21-point lead with less than three minutes left in the first half.
Alabama’s situation looked bleak, but it didn’t take long for the momentum to shift back in favor of the Crimson Tide thanks to big plays on special teams.
First, true freshman Trevon Diggs returned a kickoff 41 yards to give Alabama great field position. The Crimson Tide found the end zone only 37 seconds later.
Then, safety Eddie Jackson returned the first punt of his career 85 yards for the score. Suddenly, the Rebels lead was down to seven points.
“I think it made a big deal,” Jackson said. “We needed a big play and I’m glad I was able to make it. The punt route returners made good blocks for me, I saw a lane and I just hit it.”
“Get outta your mind.”
Saban thought scoring twice before halftime was huge. At the time, the coaching staff was only looking to cut the Rebels lead down by a touchdown.
It didn’t take the Crimson Tide long to score again after returning from halftime.
Alabama linebacker Ryan Anderson hit Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly on the Rebels’ first drive of the third quarter, causing Kelly to drop the ball a few yards from his own end zone. Alabama defensive lineman Da’Ron Payne promptly picked the ball up and extended it into the end zone, giving the Crimson Tide a share of the lead with 24 points. It was Alabama’s first defensive score off of a fumble since former cornerback Cyrus Jones found the end zone against Ole Miss the last time Alabama visited Oxford.
“Get outta your mind.”

The Crimson Tide might be able to count on the defense and special teams units to continue scoring non-offensive touchdowns in the future. It has scored a minimum of one per game in its last five contests, beginning with Jones’ 57-yard punt return for a touchdown against Michigan State.

In the end, those big plays Alabama’s defense created more than made up for its mistakes, but with a young quarterback and a tough road schedule remaining, the defense will have to improve. It can’t give up 527 yards of offense and 36 points, then expect to win every game

But, adversity didn’t surprise this team or its coaches.

Before the game, Saban had a message for this team, but even he didn’t realize how timely it would be.
“I told the players, you can overcome the burden if you really love [what you do],” Saban said. “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.”

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports