For the 2018 University of Alabama football season, TideSports’ Terrin Waack will provide select stellar stats, obscure facts and notable quotes from the most recent game to show how the Crimson Tide uses “The Process” against its opponents.
OXFORD, Miss. — No. 1 Alabama defeated Ole Miss 62-7 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium last Saturday in front of 62,919 people for the Crimson Tide’s SEC opener.
• Alabama’s 49 points through two quarters mark the most by an SEC team in a conference game since 2005. You know how UA coach Nick Saban always preaches the importance of starting fast? Well, the Crimson Tide is outscoring opponents 117-7 in the first half alone so far this season.
• Speaking of coming out strong, Alabama has now won 18 consecutive games when scoring a touchdown on its first drive — UA running back Damien Harris had a 43-yard to seal the deal against Ole Miss. The 2014 Allstate Sugar Bowl against Oklahoma was the last time Alabama scored immediately on offense and then ultimately lost the game.
• Alabama is No. 1 nationally in scoring offense, averaging 56.7 points per game. The Crimson Tide is also the first SEC team to ever score 50-plus points in its first three games. UA hasn’t had back-to-back-to-back games with more than 50 points overall since 1945.
• Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has thrown exactly 50 passes this season. He has completed 36 of those for 646 yards and eight touchdowns. Keep in mind the starter has been splitting time with both Jalen Hurts and Mac Jones, and Tagovailoa is still averaging 215.3 yards per game.
• Ole Miss quarterback Jordan Ta’amu came out and delivered a 75-yard touchdown pass for his first play. After that, he was 6-of-21 for 58 yards with two interceptions. This is the same guy who entered the game 45-of-65 for 784 yards, seven touchdowns and no picks.
• The Rebels defense has allowed 130 points already this season, surpassing 106 points through the first three games in 2016. The Crimson Tide has given up just 28. Wide receiver Jerry Jeudy has scored more points (36) himself than Alabama’s opponents.
• Alabama linebacker Christian Miller did the Ole Miss Landshark gesture after he sacked Ta’amu. Nothing was called. UA running back Josh Jacobs did it after his 4-yard touchdown run and was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct.
• Both starting quarterbacks are from Hawaii. Ta’amu is from Pearl City. Tagovailoa is from Ewa Beach. The two places are 10 miles apart.
OddSharks.com had Alabama as a 22.5-point favorite. The Crimson Tide easily covered, winning by 55 points.
Quoting Nick Saban
On what he saw in Ole Miss’ opening touchdown play …
“I saw the guy running five yards behind our guy, pretty much the same thing you saw. Did everybody see that? Not that it’s not a good question, I just think it’s pretty obvious what happened. The guy got beat.”
Quoting the Crimson Tide
Tight end Irv Smith Jr. on if Ole Miss has become a more important rival in recent years …
“We look at every opponent the same, the faceless opponent.”
Quoting the opponent
Ole Miss offensive coordinator Phil Longo on executing the little things …
“In a game like this, where you’re playing a team of this caliber, you’ve got to play mistake-free football, and we didn’t do that.”
Top 3 rushers
1. UA: Damien Harris, five carries for 62 yards and a touchdown
2. UA: Tua Tagovailoa, five carries for 47 yards
3. OM: Scottie Phillips, 12 carries for 44 yards
Top 3 receivers
1. UA: Jerry Jeudy, three receptions for 136 yards and two touchdowns
2. OM: D.K. Metcalf, two receptions for 92 yards and a touchdown
3. UA: Irv Smith Jr., three receptions for 42 yards and a touchdown
Top 3 passers
1. UA: Tua Tagovailoa, 11-15-0 for 191 yards and two touchdowns
2. OM: Jordan Ta’amu, 7-22-2 for 133 yards and a touchdown (sacked four times)
3. UA: Jalen Hurts, 7-10-1 for 85 yards and two touchdowns
Top 3 defenders
1. OM: Jacquez Jones, nine total tackles
2. OM: Keidron Smith, seven total tackles
3. UA: Quinnen Williams, six total tackles (a quarterback hurry)
Alabama (3-0) returns home to play No. 22 Texas A&M (2-1) on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The game will kick off at 2:30 p.m. and air on CBS.