John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
There was nothing spectacular about Alabama's win over Ole Miss. There didn't need to be
After a 15-second lead that Ole Miss took early in the second quarter, there was never really a moment in this game where Alabama's lead was in doubt. The Rebels did cut their deficit to 27-14 with a touchdown in the third quarter, and you started to think that another score might make something interesting. But another score never came.
Instead, it was Alabama doing what Alabama sometimes does in games like this: Slowly put them further and further out of reach. AJ McCarron had some ups and downs in this game, but he ended up 22-of-30 for 180 yards and two touchdowns. Eddie Lacy ground out 82 yards on 19 carries. Freshman wideout Amari Cooper had a breakout game, catching eight passes for 84 yards and two touchdowns.
Ole Miss, meanwhile, struggled to get anything going against the Tide defense. The Rebels barely cleared the 200-yard mark and averaged just 2.3 yards per carry on the ground. They threw three interceptions. Any hopes of an upset generally came from the defense, which actually didn't do that poorly when you look indicators like Alabama's total offense (305 yards).
The 21-point second quarter might have been the only real indicator that this was the No. 1 team in the country playing at home against a team that's fighting to make a bowl. But Alabama will have plenty of time to prove it bona fides over the next couple of months. An easy but workmanlike win will do just fine for now.