Alabama vs. Ole Miss score, takeaway: No. 9 Tide survives No. 11 Rebels behind Bryce Young's three touchdowns

Alabama vs. Ole Miss score, takeaway: No. 9 Tide survives No. 11 Rebels behind Bryce Young’s three touchdowns

Alabama’s No. 9 went from a 10-point second-half deficit to No. 11 Ole Miss 30-24 in a crucial SEC West game on 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 well-deserved victory after the Coach Nick Saban’s team have lost two of the previous three. .

Alabama star quarterback Bryce Young threw for three touchdowns as the defending Heisman Trophy winner 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 to go to give the Tide a 6-point lead, which proved important as he forced Ole Miss attempt a touchdown inside the red zone with under a minute left rather than giving the Rebels the chance to score 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 off a punt with Ole Miss. Running back Jase McClellan made four 35-yard runs after replacing an ineffective Jahmyr Gibbs as Alabama’s leading running back.

Young tied the game late in the third quarter when it rolled over and found Ja’Corey Brooks in the back of the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown, capping a 14-play, 75-yard drive which Coach Saban’s team desperately needed after his defense faced 59 plays in the first two quarters.

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

Here are the takeaways from Alabama’s win over Ole Miss:

Young continues to show leadership

It’s common to call the reigning Heisman Trophy winner MVP out of a narrow win over a ranked team, but Young deserves a ton of credit here. His three touchdown passes were the most since Sept. 24, when he threw four in a 55-3 win over Vanderbilt. Yes, the lingering effects of a shoulder injury suffered against Arkansas on October 1 have clearly impacted him; however, his ability to hit field shots and move into the pocket to collect touchdowns instead of field goals played a huge role in the win.

Most importantly, Young continues to show tremendous leadership. CBS Sports cameras caught Young kicking in his offensive line after a fourth and a miss late in the first quarter in which half the line thought a play had been called, while the other half thought the plan was to let time run out. . Although coach Nick Saban was also in the middle of this small group, it was Young who did the most talking.

That fire is something this Alabama team has been missing for about a month, but Young provided it on Saturday afternoon. In the process, he might have saved his team’s chances at a New Year’s Bowl Six berth.

Jase is on the case for RB1

Gibbs came into Saturday’s game as the undisputed running back for the Crimson Tide, but he was off against the Rebels. The transfer from Georgia Tech had three yards on six carries in the first half and only one catch for five yards. Saban moved on to Jase McClellan at halftime, and it was a decision that likely won the game.

McClellan had 19 carries for 84 yards, and three of those touches were explosive plays of 10 yards or more. McClellan provided much-needed balance to an offense that was decidedly one-dimensional in the first half, allowing Ole Miss’s defense to start on an Alabama offensive line that has struggled throughout the 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 set to be SEC Freshman of the Year

LSU linebacker Harold Perkins Jr. makes a late charge for the honor, but Judkins has done it all year. The Pike Road, Alabama 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 rushing yards, making him one of only two players in the conference, along with Arkansas’ Raheim Sanders, to average at least 100 yards per game. It was Judkins’ seventh 100-yard performance of the season in an offense that relied on setting the run and using the tempo to get the better of opposing defenses.

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

Byron Young has a career night

Alabama’s EDGE threat, Will Anderson Jr., has been in the national spotlight all season, but no one else up front for the Crimson Tide seemed to have any love. That changed on Saturday when Byron Young had the match of his life. The 6-foot-3, 292-pound eldest from Laurel, Mississippi had 11 tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss, a pass breakup, two quarterback rushes and a forced fumble. To put it more succinctly: he was a monster. Without Young, Alabama likely wouldn’t have slowed Ole Miss’ rushing attack 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 destroying Ole Miss’ defensive line on Saturday afternoon at Oxford.

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