The SEC West madness has begun.
Ole Miss scored two touchdowns in just over two-and-a-half minutes in the fourth quarter to erase a seven-point deficit and beat Alabama 23-17.
QB Bo Wallace connected with RB Jaylen Walton on the go-ahead TD pass with 2:54 left in the fourth quarter. But there was plenty of drama to come after the Rebels took the lead for the first time since the first quarter.
First, the Rebels missed the extra point. Twice, actually. The first went off the upright and was erased by a roughing the kicker penalty against Tony Brown. On the second attempt, Brown got around the edge again, stayed away from kicker Andrew Fletcher and blocked the kick.
Alabama drove down the field and got to the Ole Miss 22 before a holding penalty. On the next play, Alabama QB Blake Sims threw into double coverage and 5-foot-11 Senquez Golson outjumped 6-foot-6 Alabama TE O.J. Howard for the interception, which was initially called incomplete.
After a review, the call was overturned and the game was over.
It's Mississippi's first win over Alabama since 2003 and is also the first time the school has been 5-0 since 1962. The Rebels and in-state rival Mississippi State are each 2-0 in the conference while LSU, Texas A&M and now Alabama all have one loss. And oh, by the way, Auburn travels to Oxford, Miss., on November 1. Who saw the Egg Bowl on November 29 between the Mississippi schools to potentially decide the division?
After Ole Miss cut Alabama's lead to 14-10 in the third quarter, Alabama had three opportunities to extend the lead to two possessions. It managed a field goal and two punts.
Following two punts of its own, Ole Miss broke through and tied the game at 17-17 when Wallace found Vince Sanders for a 34 yard TD pass.
Ole Miss was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after the touchdown and since it kicked off 15 yards deeper, the kickoff was returnable. Alabama's Christion Jones returned it and fumbled. Five plays later, Ole Miss had the lead.
Wallace got a lot of flak for his comments in 2013, when he said that Ole Miss would score at Alabama and the Rebels subsequently were shut out 25-0. While Sims was fantastic against Florida two weeks ago, Wallace was the best QB on Saturday. He avoided the mistakes that have plagued him through his career and finished 18-of-31 for 259 yards passing and three touchdowns. Sims was 19-of-31 for 228 yards and the costly interception.
After the win, Mississippi fans could not contain themselves, rushing the field – and even jumping on a goalpost – to celebrate.
- - - - - - -