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Ole Miss vs. Alabama: Score, Highlights and Twitter Reaction

Published by Bleacher Report on Sun, 20 Sep 2015

No. 15 Ole Miss (3-0) rolled into Saturday night's SEC opener with a chance to make a statement against No. 2 Alabama (2-1), and it did just that by scraping past the Crimson Tide, 43-37, to capture the program's first victory in Tuscaloosa since 1988.According to B/R Insights, Saturday was historic for several reasons:Hugh Freeze's squad led for the entirety of the upset win, and it used 24 points off turnovers to dash the Crimson Tide's hopes.A 24-yard touchdown grab from Laquon Treadwell (five catches, 80 yards) sealed Alabama's fate with 10 minutes and nine seconds to play despite late Crimson Tide overtures that offered brief glimmers of hope.Treadwell's first-round talent was on full display as he skied for the score, per College GameDay on Twitter:Following the touchdown catch, Bleacher Report's Matt Miller broke down the physical qualities that separate Treadwell from his peers:Rebels quarterback Chad Kelly was superb in the victory, completing 18 of 33passes for 341yards and threetouchdowns.The story wasn't the same for Alabama, which lost its SEC home opener for the first time since 1991, according to CBS Sports' Dane Brugler.Saban handed Cooper Bateman the keys to the offense, but the redshirt sophomore couldn't capitalize on the opportunity in front of him. Before Saban pulled him and replaced him with Jake Coker in the second quarter, Bateman posted 87 yards and an interception on 11-of-14 passing.However, a quarterback change couldn't salvage Alabama's evening. Coker's comeback attempt was admirable, but a desperation heave with under three minutes remaining resulted in his second interception of the night.Not only did the Crimson Tide surrender at least 42 points for the third time in six games dating back to last season, but they fell in uncharacteristic fashion, according to B/R Insights:Ole Miss carried a 17-10 lead into halftime, and things took a turn for the spectacular on the Rebels' first drive of the third quarter. Under pressure, Kelly unleashed a desperation pass downfield that somehow founds the hands of Quincy Adeboyejo before the receiver found his way into the end zone for a 66-yard tip-drill touchdown.ESPN College Football on Twitter offered a look at the play that may come to define Ole Miss' season:The Rebels' ability to make plays downfield kept Alabama pressing, and the continued emergence of defensive tackle RobertNkemdichepaced an Ole Miss defense that was just disruptive enough to secure the upset.Alabama actually outgained Ole Miss, 124-65, in the first quarter, but that didn't stop the Rebels from becoming the first team since 2012 to hold the Crimson Tide scoreless in an opening frame at home, per ESPN Stats & Info.Turnovers, then, proved to be the story of the night.After squandering its first shot at seven points after Alabama fumbled the opening kickoff, Ole Miss capitalized on a Bateman interception and another special teams fumble with a pair of touchdowns to trot into halftime with a 17-10 edge."Well, you know, they got all 17 of the points off of turnovers and great field position," Saban told ESPN at halftime, according to theAnniston Star's Marq Burnett. "That's the story of the game."The Crimson Tide are primed to tumble down the Top 25 after losing for the first time since their national championship slip-up against Ohio State, but a rebound should be in order next week against Louisiana-Monroe.Questions will persist regarding the quarterback situation, but Coker proved throughout the second half that he's the more polished, composed passer Alabama can rely on as SEC play begins to heat up.The Rebels, meanwhile, are slated to vault up the Top 25 and wedge their way into the nation's title-contending conversation. A plum matchup with Vanderbilt is on deck, but Ole Miss should be able to handle the Commodores and keep the hype train chugging into October.
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