On Saturday, September 15, many witnessed the greatest loss that any group of Rebels has ever sustained since Darth Vader assaulted the base on Hoth.
The Alabama Crimson Tide met the Ole Miss Rebels in their own territory, squaring off in Oxford, Mississippi’s Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Ernest Hemingway, half of the stadium’s namesake, would be proud to learn that yesterday’s game was truly a Farewell to Arms for Mississippi quarterback Jordan Ta’amu, as he seemed to completely throw out both of them after completing just a single pass to D.K. Metcalf for a touchdown. This touchdown occurred on the first play of the game, putting the game in doubt for approximately eleven seconds.
Xavier McKinney, who caught an interception later in the game for a 30-yard touchdown, said, “We don't dwell on plays like that. When that (touchdown) happened, we weren't down about it. We just kept going, kept playing and I feel like we did a great job.”
Yet, all thoughts of the Rebs making the game anything like a contest were dispelled when, on the subsequent drive, Alabama quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, produced a rocket launcher from behind his back and wiped out half of the Mississippi defensive line. The whole of the Alabama offense then formed a classic Spartan phalanx, complete with spears and shields, and charged forward to rid the field of the residual opposition.
With no defense to greet them, the Tide was able to drive itself to the shore of victory by responding to Mississippi’s initial effort to play football with 62 points for the Rebels’ seven. In three plays, Alabama evened the score, and Damien Harris’ following 43-yard touchdown run through the nonexistent defense gave them a seven-point lead.
Throughout the remainder of the game, Ole Miss played with all the grace of a two legged cat, particularly after a sack to QB Ta’amu from linebacker Vandarius Cowan hit the quarterback so hard he developed amnesia and completely forgot how the game of football worked. This amnesia also made it difficult for Ta’amu to recognize his own team as he threw a total of two interceptions and only completed a total of seven passes not including the aforementioned, very well thrown interceptions.
In the first quarter, Alabama QB Tagovailoa stopped the game to suggest that his presence was unfair to Ole Miss, and after consideration, the referees agreed and Jalen Hurts stepped onto the field. Ta’amu remained in the game as every other Ole Miss quarterback was not permitted to play by NCAA as exposing them to the conditions on the field was considered a physical and mental health risk.
After completing two touchdowns, Hurts was exchanged for Alabama’s redshirt freshman, Mac Jones.
Ta’amu had high praise of Alabama’s defense after the game.
“We were able to make some plays, but it's hard because they mess up your timing,” he said. “I had to throw quicker or tucked it to run and that's not on our receivers. They also did a good job of batting balls that I thought would have been plays for us.”
The game ended with 248 yards offense for Ole Miss, and enough yardage for Alabama to encircle the globe five times. A game has not been this close seen since my uncles played my six and seven-year-old cousins last year at Thanksgiving.