College football: Alabama, Ole Miss combine for 111
Published 12:44 am Sunday, October 11, 2020
Alabama’s Najee Harris scored five touchdowns.
By CHRIS BURROWS Associated Press
OXFORD, Miss. — Najee Harris ran for 206 yards and five touchdowns and No. 2 Alabama beat Mississippi and former Crimson Tide assistant Lane Kiffin 63-48 on Saturday night in the highest-scoring Southeastern Conference regulation game ever.
Matt Corral passed for 365 yards for Ole Miss (1-2) and the Rebels put up 647 yards on the Tide. The teams combined for an SEC-record 1,370 yards.
Alabama and Ole Miss traded touchdowns for much of the night, but with the Tide (3-0) leading 49-42 the Rebels misfired in Alabama territory and had to settle for a field goal. That was as good as a stop in this game. Tide receiver DeVonta Smith went 14 yards for a touchdown run to make it 56-45 with 3:16 left.
After another Ole Miss field goal, Alabama recovered an onside kick and Harris busted a 39-yard touchdown run moments later to seal it.
Alabama trailed 14-7 in the second quarter and then scored touchdowns on eight straight possessions on drives of 72, 75, 85, 52, 72, 44, 90 and 44 yards.
Kiffin, who was offensive coordinator under Nick Saban at Alabama from 2014-16, became the latest former Saban assistant to come up short against the old boss.
Saban improved to 21-0 against his former assistants.
But Kiffin’s offense made the Tide work hard. The Rebels got nearly 250 yards rushing and four touchdowns from Snoop Conner (128 yards) and Jerrion Ealy (120).
Alabama: The results weren’t unexpected but the degree of difficulty was surprising, especially for the Crimson Tide defense. Bottom line was Alabama avoided a road upset at the hands of an inspired underdog.
Ole Miss: The offensive unit is impressive. The special teams are adequate. But the Rebels are going to have to get more from a defense that plays hard but is clearly short handed in talent and depth by SEC standards. Competitive home losses to Florida and Alabama have built some optimism.
Despite the win, Alabama isn’t likely to leap frog Clemson into the No. 1 slot.
Alabama: The Crimson Tide hosts No. 3 Georgia Saturday night in what should be college football’s showcase match up of the weekend.
Ole Miss: The Rebels visit Arkansas on Saturday.