Crimson Tide Football Falls at Ole Miss, 43-28

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
Saturday, October 18, 2003

Chris James
Chris James

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UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA POST-GAME NOTES
Ole Miss 43, Alabama 28

*Ole Miss defeated Alabama 43-28 in front of 60,825 fans here today at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium/Hollingsworth Field in Oxford.  The Rebels have won back-to-back game against the Crimson Tide here in Oxford for the first time in history.  Ole Miss also posted a 27-24 win over Alabama here in 2001.

*The last time Ole Miss beat Alabama in back-to-back home games was 1968 and 1970, when Archie Manning directed the  Rebels to a pair of win over the Crimson Tide in Mississippi Memorial Stadium in Jackson.  Ole Miss won 10-8 in 1968 and 48-33 in 1970.

*The 43 points scored today by Ole Miss are the second-most by the Rebels against the Crimson Tide.  The most points ever scored by Ole Miss against Alabama was 48 points in a 48-23 win over the Crimson Tide in Jackson in 1970, Archie Manning's senior year at Ole Miss.

*The Rebels 15-point win over the Crimson Tide is their largest in the series since that 48-23 win in Jackson during the 1970 season.

*Alabama had three turnovers in the game (2 interceptions, one fumble) in the loss to Ole Miss, resulting in 14 points for the Rebels.  The Crimson Tide also gave up a safety in the final two minutes of the game (Croyle fumble snap in end zone), accounting for 16 Ole Miss points.

*Alabama captains for the Ole Miss game are right tackle Evan Mathis (Homewood), middle linebacker Freddie Roach (Killen) and free safety Chris James (Albany, Ga.).

*Sophomore quarterback Brodie Croyle (Rainbow City) returned to the starting lineup today for Alabama after a two-game absence.  Croyle did not start against Georgia (Oct. 4) or Southern Miss (Oct. 11), but did see two snaps under center in the loss to Georgia.

*Senior tight end Donald Clarke (Boca Raton, Fla.) made his first start of the 2003 season at tight end.  Clarke is third different starting tight end used by the Crimson Tide this year.  The start at Ole Miss is the seventh of Clarke's career with the Crimson Tide.

*Ole Miss kicker Jonathan Nichols 51-yard field goal with 11:22 left in the first quarter was the third 50+ yard FG against Alabama this season.  Georgia's Billy Bennett connected on a 52-yarder on Oct. 4 and Northern Illinois' Steve Azar hit a 51-yarder on Sept. 20.

*Nichols added a 19-yard field goal in the fourth quarter of today's game.  UA opponents have made eight of their last nine field goal attempts against Alabama.

*OIe Miss became just the third team (Oklahoma and Arkansas) this season to score against Alabama on the opening possession of the game.

*Ole Miss scored 24 points in the first quarter, the most scored against Alabama in the opening period since the Jan. 1, 1991 Fiesta Bowl.  In that game, Louisville scored 25 points en route to 25-0 lead.

*Alabama also allowed 21 first-quarter points in a 41-14 loss to Tennessee on Oct. 14, 1995 as UT quarterback Peyton Manning threw two TD passes and ran for another against the Tide.  Alabama also allowed 21 first-quarter points to Ole Miss on Oct. 7, 1989 in Jackson.  The Rebels built a three touchdown lead with less than eight minutes left in the first quarter only to see  the Crimson Tide reel off 62 unanswered points en route to a 62-27 win.

*Ole Miss' 24 first-quarter points are the second-most scored against Alabama in a quarter this season.  On Oct. 4, Georgia scored 31 points in the second quarter to take a 37-10 halftime lead over the Crimson Tide. 

*In addition, Ole Miss' 31 points in the first half are the second-most allowed by Alabama in one half this season.  Georgia scored 37 points in the first half of its 37-23 loss in Athens on Oct. 4.

*Ole Miss (12 plays, 88 yards) scored on its first possession of the third quarter, the longest scoring drive in terms of total yards against Alabama this season.  The longest previous drive was 81 yards by Oklahoma on Sept. 6.

*The Rebels are the only team this season to score on the opening possession of the second half, thus becoming the first team to score on its opening possession in each half against Alabama this year.

*Junior Chris James (Albany, Georgia) recorded his third blocked punt of the 2003 season today against Ole Miss.  James blocked a Cody Ridgeway punt with 4:59 left in the third quarter and was credited with a 44-yard punt return for his first career touchdown at Alabama.  James has one blocked punt in each of his last two games for Alabama, including last week's 17-3 win over Southern Miss.  James also had a blocked punt in the Crimson Tide's 20-13 loss to No.1 Oklahoma on Sept. 6.

*James three blocked kicks this season ties the Alabama single-season record for most blocked kicks by an individual.  James has three blocked punts this season against Oklahoma, Southern Miss and Ole Miss.  James joins five other UA players with three blocked kicks in the season, including Tommy Johnson (1  PAT, 2 punts, 1994), Antonio London (3 FGs, 1991), Mike Kramer (2 FGs, 1 Punt, 1976), Leroy Cook (3 FGs, 1974) and Mike Washington (3 FGs, 1973).

*Senior running back Shaud Williams (Andrews, Texas) had 18 carries for 63 yards and one TD in the loss to Ole Miss.  The senior also caught two passes for 29 yards, including a 24-yard TD reception with 2:33 left in the game, giving him two TDs in the game against Ole Miss.  Williams has four TDs for Alabama in his last two games, including three rushing TDs.

*Redshirt freshman Nic Luke (Phenix City) made his Alabama debut against Ole Miss, playing on special teams.

*Redshirt freshman running back Kenneth Darby (Huntsville) had a 41-yard run in the third quarter today against Ole Miss, the longest rushing attempt of his career.

*Freshman receiver Tyrone Prothro (Heflin) recorded his first career reception in the loss to Ole Miss, hauling in an eight-yard pass from Brodie Croyle to give Alabama a first down at the UA 31-yard line.  Prothro finished the game with three catches for 29-yards, including a 13-yard reception.

*Junior punter Bo Freelend (Eutaw, Ala.) tied the Alabama single-game record (minimum five punts) with a 52.4 punting average in today's loss to Ole Miss.  Freelend punted five times for 262 yards for a 52.4 yard average, including a career-long 59-yard punt.  Freelend's 52.4 yard punting average tied the single-game mark held by Greg Gantt vs. Miss. State (5 for 264 yards) in 1971 and Chris Mohr vs. Auburn (5 for 264 yards) in 1986.

*Junior running back Ray Hudson (Bonifay, Fla.) recorded his first touchdown reception of the season, hauling in a 22-yard pass from Brodie Croyle with 4:47 left in the game.  Hudson's only other TD reception came last year against Mississippi State.

*Junior Thurman Ward (Starkville, Miss.) recovered an on-side kick with 4:47 left in the game, setting up the Crimson Tide's final touchdown of the game against Ole Miss.  The last time Alabama recovered an on-side kick was on the opening kickoff at Oklahoma (Sept. 7, 2002) last season.

*Alabama returns home next weekend to face the No. 21 Tennessee Volunteers at Bryant-Denny Stadium.  The game will be televised nationally by CBS Sports and kickoff is set for 2:34 p.m. (CT).