Countdown to Kickoff
Alabama 42, Ole Miss 7: Postgame Notes & Statistics


Saturday, October 19, 2002

Santonio Beard
Santonio Beard

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» Updated Season Statistics

*No. 24 Alabama defeated No. 21 Ole Miss 42-7 this afternoon as the Crimson Tide improves to 5-2 overall and 2-1 in SEC play.  With the loss, Ole Miss falls to 5-2 overall and 2-1 in league play.

*Alabama head coach Dennis Franchione notched his 150th career win today with the Alabama 42-7 win over the No. 21 Ole Miss Rebels.  Coach Fran's career record now stands at 150-72-2 (.674).  Coach Fran is seventh among active coaches with 150 wins and 10th in winning percentage.  He will coach his 225th career game next week at Tennessee.

*With its 42-7 win over Ole Miss, Alabama now leads the all-time series 40-8-2 in 50 meetings in a series that dates back to 1894.  The Crimson Tide has won 16 of the last 18 meetings with the Rebels and has yet to lose two consecutive games in the series.  Alabama also improves to 19-1 against Ole Miss here in Tuscaloosa and improves to 28-1-1 in all games in the state of Alabama. 

*In its last two wins over Ole Miss here at Bryant-Denny Stadium, Alabama has outscored the Rebels 87-14.  UA won 45-7 here during the 2000 season.

*The Crimson Tide is now 68-13-1 all-time in Homecoming games after its 42-7 win over Ole Miss.  The win today snapped a two-game losing streak in homecoming games.  Alabama had lost its last two homecoming games against Central Florida (40-38, 2000) and LSU (35-21, 2001). Alabama has never lost three straight homecoming games.  This was the fourth time the Crimson Tide has hosted the Rebels for homecoming and UA has won three of those four meetings.  Alabama posted wins in 1929 (22-7), 1998 (20-17, OT) and 2002 (42-7) and lost in 1988 (22-12).

*Alabama scored the second-most points in the Dennis Franchione era with its 42-7 win over Ole Miss.  The previous high was 56 points in a 56-7 win over UTEP on Oct. 6, 2001 at Legion Field.

*The 35-point margin of victory today is also the second-most lopsided win in the Franchione era.  The previous high was a 49-point margin of victory over UTEP last year.

*The 42 points are the most scored by Alabama on homecoming since a 48-7 win over South Carolina on Oct. 3, 1992.  The 35-point margin of victory is the most-lopsided homecoming win since beating Southern Miss 40-0 on Oct. 13, 1993.

*Junior tailback Santonio Beard was one of many offensive stars for the Crimson Tide in the win over Ole Miss.  Beard ran the ball 13 times for 138 yards and 5 TDs against the Rebels.  He averaged 10.6 yards per carry.  The Nashville, Tenn., tied the Alabama single-game record with five rushing touchdowns.  He shares the record with former Alabama All-American Shaun Alexander, who had five rushing TDs in a 38-31 win over BYU on Sept. 4, 1998 here at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

*In addition, Beard is one of three UA players to account for five touchdowns in one game, joining Alexander (vs. BYU, 1998) and Gary Hollingsworth.  Hollingsworth threw five TD passes in Alabama's 62-27 win over Ole Miss on Oct. 7, 1989 in Jackson.  In that game, Alabama trailed 21-0 less than six minutes into the game and scored 41 second quarter points to build a 48-21 halftime lead en route to a 62-27 win at Mississippi Memorial Stadium.

*Beard also posted his fourth career 100 rushing game today against Ole Miss, including his second 100-yard game this season.  Alabama is 3-1 when Beard rushes for 100 or more yards in a single-game.  Beard had 134 rushing yards in the Crimson Tide's 30-12 win at Arkansas on Sept. 28, 2002.

*Beard scored the first two times he touched the ball today for Alabama, scoring on first quarter runs of 25 and 35 yards to give Alabama a 14-0 lead.  He scored his third rushing TD (9 yard run) with 10:19 left in the third quarter as UA took a 28-7 lead.  On the first play of the fourth quarter, Beard added his fourth rushing TD, scoring on a two-yard run with 14:56 left in the game.  He capped the scoring with his school-record tying fifth rushing TD, scoring a 10-yard run with 3:50 left in the game to give the Tide its 42-7 lead.

*Following his two-yard TD run in the third quarter, Beard's three TD runs (25, 35, 9) netted six more rushing yards (69) than Ole Miss had total offense (63 yards) with 10 minutes left in the third quarter.

*In addition, Beard became the 44th player in Alabama history to rush for 1,000 yards in his career.  In 26 career games, Beard has 158 rushing attempts for 1,068 yards and 11 TDs.  Beard is 39th on the Crimson Tide's all-time rushing list following his 138-yard performance today.

*Beard entered the game with only two rushing touchdowns and none in SEC play.  He now leads Alabama with seven rushing TDs, including five in league play. 

*Beard entered the Ole Miss game with only six career rushing TDs and nearly matched that total today, scoring five against the Rebels.  He now has 11 rushing TDs in his Alabama career.

*Alabama has scored on its opening possession in six of seven games this season. Beard's 25-yard touchdown run with 10:37 left in the first quarter, capped a nine-play, 85-yard drive that consumed 4:23 off the clock.  The Georgia game is the only time this season Alabama did not score on its first possession.

*The Alabama defense held Ole Miss to four rushing yards (28 attempts), the second-fewest rushing allowed this season.  On Sept. 7, Alabama held No. 2 Oklahoma to minus 23 yards in a 37-27 loss.  In addition, the Ole Miss game marks the fourth time this season Alabama has held the opposition to less than 100 yards rushing, joining Oklahoma (-23), North Texas (37), Southern Miss (35) and Ole Miss (4).

*In 19 games under Franchione, Alabama has held the opposition to less than 100 rushing yards eight times.  Alabama also held four teams to less than 100 rushing yards last season.

*Unofficially, the Crimson Tide defense recorded three sacks (-37 yards) and seven pass defelctions against Ole Miss junior quarterback Eli Manning.  Manning completed 18 of 32 passes for 219 yards, with one interception and no touchdowns.  After completing all seven pass attempts in the first quarter, Manning completed only 11 of 25 passes the remainder of the game.

*Manning completed his first seven passes against the Alabama defense for 63 yards, all during the first quarter as the Crimson Tide led 14-7.  In the second quarterm Manning completed only one of six passes for one yard and threw one interception (Gerald Dixon, 4 yard return).  In addition, Alabama also added one sack (Jarret Johnson, -18 yards) and four PBUs during the second quarter.

*The Crimson Tide defense held Ole Miss to minus two yards total offense in the second quarter.  The had eight rushes for minus three yards and completed one pass (6 attempts) for one yard.  The Rebels ran 14 total plays against the Tide in the second quarter.

*Senior Gerald Dixon had three of those pass deflections and the lone interception for the Alabama defense.  Dixon has two interceptions this season and three in his Alabama career.  In addition, Dixon has at least one interception in back-to-back games against Georiga and Ole Miss.  Prior to the Georgia game (Oct. 5), Dixon had not recorded an interception since the 1999 season.

*Senior quarterback Tyler Watts returned to the starting lineup today after missing the last two games.  Watts completed his first pass attempt of the game, a seven-yard completion to Sam Collins.  The seven-yard completion moved Watts into sole possession of 10th place on UA's passing yards list with 2,722 yards moving him past Joe Namath (1962-64).  Watts finished the game, completing 4 of 6 passes for 43 yards.  He also added 12 rushing yards on four attempts.

*Junior Kyle Robinson made his Alabama debut as he kicked extra points and short range field goals for the Crimson Tide against Ole Miss.  Robinson made his first career extra point attempt with 10:37 left in the first quarter as the Crimson Tide took a 7-0 lead.  Robinson converted all six PAT attempts in his first collegiate game for the Tide.

*Robinson becomes the third place kicker used by Alabama this season, joining Michael Ziifle and Brian Bostick.

*Senior punter Lane Bearden returned to the Alabama lineup after a one-game absence.  The Pelham, Ala., native is punting with a torn ACL and averaged 40 yards per punt on five kicks against the Rebels.  His longest kick of the game was a 47-yarder and he downed two inside the Ole Miss 20-yard line.

*Redshirt freshman QB Brodie Croyle completed 6 of 11 passes for 179 yards and one TD, coming off the bench in the second quarter.  Croyle threw a 51-yard TD pass to Dre Fulgham to give Alabama a 21-7 lead with 2:27 left in the first half.  In addition, he completed a 64-yard pass to Sam Collins, giving Alabama a first-and-goal at the Ole Miss two-yard line on on the final play of the third quarter.

*Croyle averaged 29.8 yards per completion in the win over Ole Miss. 

*Fulgham's 51-yard TD reception is the longest reception of his Alabama career.  He finished the game with three catches for 87 yards and one TD.  Fulgham has caught one TD pass in each of his last two games, after not recording a TD reception in the first 24 games of his UA career.

*Brodie Croyle's 51-yard TD pass to Dre Fulgham gave Alabama a 21-7 lead with 2:27 left in the first half.  The 51-yard TD reception was the longest pass reception by Fulgham in his career.  In addition, Fulgham has two TD receptions in each of his last two games.

*The 64-yard reception by Sam Collins is the longest pass reception in his Alabama career.  His previous long was a 58-yard TD catch in the second quarter of last year's game at Ole Miss.  Collins finished the game with three catches for 83 yards.

*Alabama will travel to Knoxville, Tenn., to face the Tennessee Volunteers (4-2, 1-2 SEC) next Saturday (Oct. 26) at Neyland Stadium.  The kickoff time for the game will be announced Sunday by the SEC Office.


NOTING ELI (18-of-32 passing, 219 yards, 1 INT)

" Moved into fourth place on the Ole Miss career list for completions with 414 ... Passed his father, Archie Manning (1968-70), with 402 completions, for fifth place, with his seventh completion of the day, and later passed Mark Young (1985-88), 410 career completions, for fourth place.

" Surpassed Archie Manning for fifth place in career passing yards at Ole Miss ... Eli now has 4,907 career passing yards, 64 yards shy of Mark Young for fourth place with 4,971 ... Archie had 4,753 passing yards in his career.

" Was 7-of-7 for 62 yards in the first quarter, including going 5-of-5 for 49 yards on the Ole Miss scoring drive.

" With seven straight completions to open the game, Manning had a string of 13 consecutive completions dating back to the second quarter of last weekend's game with Arkansas State.

" Was 1-of-6 for 1 yard and an interception in the second quarter ... Was 11-of-25 for 157 and 1 INT after the first quarter.


" Today's meeting was the 50th in the series dating back to 1894.

" Alabama now leads the series 40-8-2, including 20-1 in Tuscaloosa.

" The Crimson Tide has outscored the Rebels, 87-14 in the last two meetings at Bryant-Denny Stadium.


" Today's game started a string of six straight games for the Rebels against opponents with a combined record of 24-11 entering today's action. Included in that stretch is three games versus ranked teams: Alabama (#24), Georgia (#5) and LSU (#12).

" Today's loss snapped a seven-game win streak for the Rebels during the month of October. Prior to today's game, the last time Ole Miss lost in October, was on Oct. 14, 2000 to Alabama, 45-7 in Tuscaloosa.


" Senior RB Robert Williams started at running back today after missing the last two games versus Florida (10/5) and Arkansas State (10/12) with a high ankle sprain suffered against Vanderbilt on Sept. 21.

" Ole Miss was held to -2 yards of total offense on 14 plays in the second quarter.

" The Rebels were 0-for-8 on third down conversions during the second and third quarters.

" The 4 yards rushing today was the Rebels' lowest output since recording 1 yard versus Georgia in 1993.

" Today's game marked first time in 21 games that Ole Miss was held to under 10 points since a 20-9 loss to LSU on Nov. 11, 2000.

" Sophomore TE Eric Rice set career highs for receptions (3) and receiving yards (25).


" Chris Collins extended his streak to 16 games with a reception.

" Bill Flowers caught one pass to extend his streak to 13 consecutive games with a reception.

" Jason Armstead had two receptions to give him 11 straight games with a reception.


" Alabama's TD on its first possession of the game marked the first time this season Ole Miss has allowed a TD on its first defensive series this season. It was also the first time in eight games that an opponent scored a TD on its opening possession against the Rebels, as Vanderbilt went 78 yards in 12 plays on its first possession in last year's regular-season finale.

" With TDs on its first two series, Alabama became the first team since West Virginia in the 2000 Music City Bowl to score touchdowns against Ole Miss on its first two possessions of a game.

" Eddie Strong's fumble recovery in the second quarter was his first of the season and the fifth of his career.

" The 64-yard pass from Brodie Croyle to Sam Collins on the final play of the third quarter was the longest allowed by the Rebels this season.

" The 51-yard TD pass from Croyle to Dre Fulgham in the second quarter was the second longest allowed by Ole Miss this season.

" Germain Landrum's sack in the second quarter was the Rebels' 16th of the season, matching their 11-game total from last season.


" Jonathan Nichols was 1-of-1 on PAT attempts today to extend his streak to 35 consecutive extra points made, the fifth longest streak in school history.

" The PAT by Nichols marked his 100th career point, becoming the ninth kicker in school history to reach the 100-point mark.


University of Alabama Head Coach Dennis Franchione

"Let me say this first. If Lane Bearden isn't the (SEC) special teams player of the week then I don't know why the award exists. After what he did today--great performance, 40 yard average. In 30 years, I've never seen a young man go out and play without an anterior cruciate."

"Great game for Santonio Beard; a breakout game for him. We knew he had it in him."

"I was really pleased with the balance in our offense, just about even-- 234 rushing, 222 passing."

"You have to tip your hat to the defense today--a stop inside the five, a stop inside the 15."

"Our coaching staff challenged our football team on our open week. We talked a lot about what happened to teams and how they had come back after open week and we challenged them in areas in which we felt like we could improve and we did improve in a lot of those areas. It makes you feel good as a coach when your players respond well in your time off."

When asked if game plan changed when Brodie Croyle came in For Tyler Watts.

"Not really. The game plan was a good one that fit both of them. We had confidence in both of them."

"The offensive coaches had a good plan. The guys executed it very well. Brodie did what he was asked to do today. He came out and did what he needed to do. This was not a game that  had to be carried on his shoulders."

University of Alabama Player Quotes

Gerald Dixon:

On his interception:  "Kindal Moorehead had great pressure on Eli (Manning). He hit him and he kind of threw a duck but I went and got it."

"We wanted to confuse him (Manning), make him see what we wanted him to see. The guys up front had great pressure all night."

"It's always motivation to play against a guy like Eli Manning. You've got to come out and put on your best performance. That's what our defense tried to do today."

Santonio Beard:

"It was a great game. Two weeks ago we came out against Georgia. We didn't get to run the ball well so everybody wanted to come out and run the ball. The offensive line-you can't say enough about them. They opened holes. All I had to beat was one guy. Made him miss and I scored touchdowns. They deserve a lot of the credit. They did an outstanding job up front. They got the job done. They made a lot of big holes."

On his five touchdowns: "Wow. I'm not even believing it. I think once I get home and watch this game or see it on ESPN I'll probably believe it then. The offensive line, Greg, my fullback, the tight end, they did a great job, too. I'm still in shock."

Brodie Croyle:

On touchdown to Fulgham:  "They were really just giving us that route tonight. That isn't really one of our primary routes all the time but we put it in this week and Dre (Fulgham), he's a big strong guy when he catches it. A lot of people are going to miss him. Luckily they missed him and he took it to the house."

Kindal Moorehead:

"We came out last week (Georgia game) and didn't play like we were supposed to play. We knew we had one of the top quarterbacks in the country coming in. We knew if we didn't control the line of scrimmage and stop the run and put pressure on him it was going to be a long day."

"Last year when we played them we were up in the fourth quarter and we let it slip away from us. That game has been on our minds for a whole year, and we knew we had to come out and play big. It was a game that the whole team wanted, the coaches wanted and we had to get it."

Ole Miss Head Coach David Cutcliffe

"On a day that we needed to be at our best we were at our worst. Alabama played a great game. They are an outstanding football team."

"Obviously I needed to have this team better prepared than they were. We didn't do a good job of protecting him (Eli Manning) and giving him the opportunity to do the things he needed to do."

"It was obvious that we did not tackle well or block well, some of the fundamental things you have to do and when you don't do those things, you can't be successful."

"Field position is something we've got to take care of. If you execute well, you can change field position."

"We were really fortunate that the score was what it was and not worse."

"It's just a matter of going back and looking at everything we're doing and trying to find what it is we need to do better."

"I think they're the best team we've played to this point. I don't think there's any question about that."

Ole Miss Player Quotes

#10 Eli Manning, QB

"They are a good team. Their front four is real good. They played great defense and had a good defensive plan."

"It wasn't really adjustments, they were just playing better than us. We didn't get the ball out of my hands quick enough. The pressure always makes it tough to throw. They played cover-two and zone and when they play that you need time."

"It is not fun coming out and losing. It makes it worse when the score gets like that."

"They are probably the best team we have played so far. They are a good team and showed it today."

#11 Mike Espy, WR

"They disguised their defense really well. I praise Alabama, they did a good job."

"I think this is going to make us a lot better. We are going to practice harder than we have been and we are gonna get a lot better."

"We had a lot of good pass plays called. They were just in the right place  at the right time."

#51 Justin Wade, LB

"You have got to give them credit. They ran it up the gut a couple of times and threw good passes."

"They played like they were ready for it. They played well and were very physical. We still have a lot to play for. We have some SEC games left and we just have got to keep going."

"We need to come back and go to practice on Monday and get ready to go. We have to have a work type attitude."

#55 Ben Claxton, C

"We knew coming in they would be good, we were not surprised. They basically are the same guys we faced last year."

"If Eli has time, he is going to make plays. We just did not give him enough time. The pressure got to him. He can't rely on anyone but us."

"It is tough to take a lot from this game. Obviously, we have to go back and get physical. We can't let this get to us and I don't think it will. We have played good defense before because Florida had a good defense."

(On the running game)- "The offensive line is an attitude. I don't know if we have that attitude. We have the talent to do it, we just haven't showed up yet."