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Ole Miss 23, Alabama 17: Rebels Shock Tide, Complete Big Day in Mississippi

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It wasn't easy, but the Rebels picked up their first ever win over a top ranked team.

Joe Murphy

In dramatic fashion, the Ole Miss Rebels overcame a 14-3 halftime deficit to defeat the Alabama Crimson Tide by the score of 23-17.

The game was pretty tame for the first half with the defenses holding down the offenses. Ole Miss picked up a field goal in the first quarter, and Alabama answered with a touchdown late in the second. It looked like the half would end uneventfully after that, but Bama got a huge break on a Rebel punt return with under a minute to go. Cyrus Jones got away with an awful facemask, stripped the ball, and returned it for a touchdown to put the Tide up 14-3 at intermission. It was the sort of play that reminds you why Alabama is Alabama and Ole Miss is Ole Miss.

The guys from Oxford didn't give up, though. After the Tide missed a long field goal to start the second half, Bo Wallace hit Evan Engram for 50 yards and then Laquon Treadwell for 14 yards for a touchdown. The Tide would get a field goal in the third, but that was all the points they'd get.

With about five and a half minutes to go, Wallace found Vince Sanders for 34 yards on a beautiful touchdown pass. It tied the game at 17. Christion Jones fumbled the ensuing kickoff for Bama, giving the Rebels the ball just 31 yards away from pay dirt. It took just five plays for Wallace to connect with Jaylen Walton on a 10-yard touchdown pass, but then something very Ole Miss happened. A roughing the kicker penalty on the Tide erased a shanked extra point, but Bama was then able to block the second try cleanly. The stage was set for Alabama to drive down the field in three minutes and break Ole Miss's heart.

Blake Sims drove the team down the field well, including finding Amari Cooper for 30 yards to get the ball down to the Rebels' 29. A completion to T.J. Yeldon advanced the ball another seven yards. Time was running short, but so was the space between the Tide and the end zone. On the next play, Sims took a shot to the back of the end zone that, upon review, was confirmed to be an interception by Senquez Golson to seal it.

Needless to say, this is one of the biggest wins in program history since the Rebels' heyday in the 1960s. Hugh Freeze has a big signature win, and his team is officially one of the frontrunners in the SEC West race. On the biggest day of football in the state of Mississippi in a long, long time, both teams came away with statement wins. Gosh almighty, y'all.