By Adam Brown
The No. 12 Ole Miss Rebels fell to No. 1 Alabama 42-21 in their SEC opener on Saturday.
“There is a reason they are the number one team in the nation,” head coach Lane Kiffin said. “Great team. We struggled with them upfront.”
Ole Miss (3-1, 0-1 SEC) scored 21 points in the second half but couldn’t get close enough to win the game.
“It’s disappointing. It’s just one game and never defines a season,” Kiffin said.
Junior quarterback Matt Corral continued his passing touchdown streak to 16-straight games that tied Eli Manning. Late in the fourth quarter, Corral found Chase Rogers in the back of the end zone for the touchdown.
Ole Miss opened the game with a great drive as they moved the ball 56 yards down to the Alabama five-yard line but couldn’t score as they got stopped on fourth down.
“Not finishing that first drive,” Kiffin said.
Alabama scored the only touchdown in the first quarter on a 16-yard pass from Bryce Young to John Metchie to make it 7-0.
In the second quarter, the Crimson Tide scored 21 unanswered as they took advantage of short field opportunities. Running back Brian Robbinson scored two touchdowns and one by Cameron Latu.
Alabama gained 201 yards of total offense in the first half of action against the Rebels defense.
“We beat ourselves as we didn’t lineup correctly,” Ole Miss defensive back Keidron Smith said.
Alabama took a 28-0 lead into the locker room at halftime. In the first half, the Crimson Tide held the Rebels to 109 yards of total offense.
“We got dominated up front and Matt didn’t have much time,” Kiffin said. “They disrupted runs. A really good defense led by Will Anderson.”
The Rebels were without wide receiver Jonathan Mingo in the game due to an injury.
“He wanted to play in this game, Kiffin said.
Robbinson finished the game with 177 yards on the ground with four touchdowns.
“Bryan is a good player,” Kiffin said. “He is a dominant player.”
Corral finished the game going 22-for-30 for 213 yards in the air and three yards on the ground. He also threw and ran for a pair of touchdowns.
“Matt played well, threw no interceptions,” Kiffin said. “We did not do a whole lot around him.”
Ole Miss was led in the running game by Henry Parrish with 11 touches for 47 yards. His teammate Snoop Conner carried the ball four times for 12 yards and a touchdown.
Ole Miss will return to action next Saturday as they welcome the Arkansas Razorbacks into town for homecoming.