When it comes to drama in the SEC West, there’s really only been program that can create some when playing Alabama and that’s been Ole Miss. The Rebels have won two of the past three in the series and cut it to one score against the Tide last year.
In 2017 however, the only drama in Tuscaloosa on Saturday night was how many touchdowns backup quarterback Tua Tagovailoa would throw or run for. The answer turned out to be two as part of a dominating 66-3 win that showed why Nick Saban’s team has an iron grip on that No. 1 ranking in the polls.
If Alabama wanted to run the ball, they did (365 yards, five scores). If they wanted to pass the ball, they did (248 yards, three touchdowns). And of course if they wanted to play a little defense, they did that too (a pick-six and no third down conversions allowed until the fourth quarter).
All told, the team has begun SEC play with a 125-3 start. That’s not bad in any sport but, in one of the nation’s toughest conferences, it’s just Bama being Bama. Those that made it to Bryant-Denny Stadium for kickoff probably could have made it home to watch every other game on the schedule on TV by the time this was well in hand in the, uh, first quarter.
Signal-caller Jalen Hurts looked extremely sharp in roughly a half of work, throwing for 197 yards and two touchdowns while running for another 101 yards and a score to lead the team on the ground. Four players had at least one 15 yard run, which sounds impressive were it not for the five members of the wide receiving corps hauling in a 20+ yard reception (and a sixth who had one go 18).
As good of a night as it was for the home team, it was a miserable beatdown for the visitors who looked beyond dead on the sidelines by the time the fourth quarter rolled around. Quarterback Shea Patterson had a few flashes of good play but was otherwise sacked five times and picked off twice. Jordan Wilkins did top the century mark rushing but that was about it for the Rebels in terms of positives.
So, uh, good luck Texas A&M because next week’s trip to Kyle Field could be just as unpleasant as the last few given how Alabama is playing right now. Ole Miss certainly found that out on Saturday.