Grading Alabama football's performance in its 63-48 win over Ole Miss
OXFORD, Miss — Alabama had an explosive offense and an imploding defense in a 63-48 win over Ole Miss.
Here is how we graded Alabama’s performance against Ole Miss:
The 723-yard outburst will be drowned by skepticism over the defense, but it will not be forgotten in UA’s record book. Neither will Najee Harris’ five rushing touchdowns.
By the most basic measure, this was one of the worst defensive performances of Nick Saban’s 14-year tenure at Alabama. And in the program's entire history.
Special teams: A-
Will Reichard continues to be perfect as a placekicker, and Sam Johnson improved with his one punt of 40 yards. The lone blemish was a mishandled kickoff by Jaylen Waddle that forced UA to start its possession on its own 15-yard line, but kick returning was not a total loss: Carl Tucker had a 23-yard return and DeVonta Smith returned two for 42 yards. UA also recovered a couple of onside kickoffs.
Steve Sarkisian had flashes of creativity that were new for this game, but for the most part his offense was what it always has been and was ruthlessly effective in doing so. Defensive coordinator Pete Golding has his name on the public’s chopping block.
It was enough to pass the test (win the game) but it was not enough to impress anyone, especially with a pivotal game against Georgia on the horizon.