Rebels stem Tide, rise again to No. 3

Alabama football coach Nick Saban talks with the media Monday in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

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Each week at Sports on Earth this season, we’re taking a look at a team that greatly improved its playoff chances over the weekend, and a team that might be better off planning for other holiday accommodations. “He came over, and I said, ‘Brother, you need to pray hard tonight and thank God”. That never really happened. Coach Freeze tells us that all the time.

The Crimson Tide trailed 43-24 early in the fourth quarter, the largest second-half deficit they’ve faced in Saban’s nine seasons.

“They’re getting a lot of yards”, linebacker C.J. Johnson said.

The game emphasized the unsettled quarterback situation, or perhaps resolved it, at least for now.

Ole Miss (3-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) will try to build on that momentum at 6 p.m. Saturday (ESPNU) when it plays host to Vanderbilt (1-2, 0-1) in a SEC game at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

Coker threw three touchdown passes but was also intercepted twice, including once in the final minutes on a deep throw that went right to cornerback Tony Bridges.

Kelly was just 3 of 6 for 30 yards throwing at Humphrey aside from the short pass that turned into a 22-yard gain after Humphrey missed a tackle.

Alabama lost wide receiver Robert Foster during the game to a shoulder injury that required surgery. Kelly passed for 341 yards and three touchdowns after producing just 36 yards through the air in the first half.

“We just have to put more emphasis on taking care of the ball”, sophomore left tackle Cam Robinson said.

As I have said, had it not been 29 years in a row, I would not have been as upset about the loss on Saturday.

“We are going to evaluate everything – at every position”, Malzahn said. “Obviously when you have five turnovers – that kind of killed us”.

It doesn’t get easier for Arkansas, with games against Texas A&M, Tennessee and Alabama over the next three weeks. The victor of Vandy and South Carolina might be the only win in SEC play either of those teams get.

Alabama had won 17 straight at home coming into the game to tie Baylor for the longest active streak in FBS, another milestone snapped by a feisty Ole Miss team that’s established itself as an SEC contender under Freeze.

“Coach said the backups were one snap away from being the starter, and here it is”.

Energy level doesnt seem to be Alabamas problem now. Robinson thinks there’s some overreaction when the Tide loses a game.

“We’re not here to call plays (or) say anything about the play-calling”, Robinson said. “We kept shooting ourself in the foot the whole game”.

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Perhaps I am reaching, but given Ole Miss has a bit more football history than United Kingdom (albeit, not as much as Ole Miss fans might think, but more than most might give them credit for having) and that the cupboard was not almost as bare, being only a year or so behind where Ole Miss is gives me hope.

Les Miles