Grading Alabama’s tone setting win over Ole Miss

·3 min read

In one of the most anticipated matchups of the college football weekend, No. 1 Alabama completely dominated the Ole Miss Rebels 42-21. Many experts thought Lane Kiffin and the Rebels could upset the Tide, but Alabama set the tone early and never looked back.

The offense went back in time and delivered a crushing running game and the defense played assignment football to limit the explosive Rebels offense.

Let’s get to the grades, shall we?

Offense: A+

Oct 2, 2021; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama running back Brian Robinson Jr. (4) fights for yardage against Ole Miss defenders at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby-USA TODAY Sports

The Alabama offense but the game in the hands of running back Brian Robinson Jr. and he delivered a career performance. Behind a great showing by the Tide offensive line, Robinson rushed for 171 yards and four touchdowns on 36 carries.

Bryce Young continued his success going 20-26 for 241 yards and two touchdowns. Young did throw his second interception of the season and was also sacked three times in the contest. Darrian Dalcourt had issues throughout the game with shotgun snaps and is something to monitor moving forward.

If Alabama can continue to have a balanced attack, the offense will be tough t stop for opposing defenses.

Defense: A-

Oct 2, 2021; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Ole Miss running back Jerrion Ealy (9) is stopped by Alabama lineman Tim Smith (50), linebacker Henry To’o To’o (10) and linebacker Will Anderson, Jr., (31) at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby-USA TODAY Sports

The Alabama defense set the tone early in the contest with a fourth-down stop in the red zone. The Ole Miss offense could not muster much in the first half. The defensive line, led by Phidarian Mathis and Will Anderson, disrupted Matt Corral for the majority of the contest.

Pete Golding put together a great game plan for the high-powered Rebel offense and the players executed the plan.

The defense did relax a little bit late in the game and allowed Ole Miss to score a couple of cheap touchdowns.

If the defense can continue to play with great intensity and execution, they will be among the nation’s best.

Special teams: A-

Alabama place kicker Will Reichard (16) reacts after a field goal during an NCAA college football game against LSU in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

It’s hard to really go in-depth on the special teams unit because the only person busy was placekicker Will Reichard. Reichard connected on all six of his extra points and remains perfect on the season in that category.

The Tide special teams unit did commit a couple of mistakes and that is the only reason they did not receive an A+. On the opening kickoff, Reichard kicked it out of bounds, and in the second half freshman linebacker, Kendrick Blackshire was charged with a targeting call on a kickoff.

All in all, it was a solid performance from the Tide special teams unit.

Overall: A-

Alabama linebacker Henry To’oTo’o (10) plays to the crowd after a defensive stop during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Mississippi, Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

In a contest that the team would need to perform well, they did just that. Alabama owned the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and leaned on punishing running game to wear down the Ole Miss defense.

The defense had its best performance of the season shutting down the Ole Miss running game and limiting big plays.

The team continues to improve every week and still has plenty of room to grow. This team is nowhere near a finished product and that has to be scary to other teams around the SEC.

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