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3 up, 3 down: Bama 33, Ole Miss 14

9/30/2012

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- A look at the good and bad from Alabama's 33-14 win over Ole Miss at home on Saturday night.

THREE UP

1. Responding to adversity: Alabama wasted no time getting over the feeling of being down in a game. After Ole Miss took a 1-point lead in the first half, UA return man Christion Jones took exactly 15 seconds to field the kickoff and sprint 99 yards to the end zone. Alabama came out fiery on defense after that and put the game away in a hurry.

2. Finding a target: For at least one night, it looked as if quarterback AJ McCarron had found his go-to target at wide receiver in true freshman Amari Cooper. The Miami native caught two quick touchdowns and finished the game with eight catches for 84 yards, turning in by far his most impressive game of the season.

3. Rattling the Rebels: Ole Miss couldn't find the right combination at quarterback on Saturday night. For a moment it looked like Bo Wallace was the right guy, then Barry Brunetti got his turn, followed by the return of former quarterback Randall Mackey, who took snaps in the shotgun. But coach Hugh Freeze's attempt at ingenuity in the face of a top defense didn't work as the three combined to complete 50 percent of their pass attempts and threw three interceptions and no touchdown passes.

THREE DOWN

1. Cracks revealed: Don't color Ole Miss' offense as a total disappointment, though the stat sheet might say otherwise. Alabama's defense allowed double-digit points to the Rebels for the first time since Michigan scored 14 in Arlington, Texas. But this weekend's effort seemed different as Alabama looked a step slow on some drives, succumbing to Freeze's no-huddle, uptempo attack.

2. Execution on the right side of the 50: Alabama's offense didn't have trouble crossing midfield, but crossing the goal line was another thing. In what's become a trend since playing FAU last week, Alabama's offense stalled on a short field due to poor execution. Eddie Lacy didn't have much room to run, the receivers couldn't find the open field and McCarron simply didn't have much in the way of options.

3. The running game: For the first time all season, the Alabama running game didn't look like it could have its way at any moment. To be fair, Ole Miss stacked the box and dared UA to pass. But still, the usually dominant offensive line simply didn't get the push Alabama fans had become accustomed to. Lacy was bottled up. T.J. Yeldon didn't fare much better. Alabama averaged less than 4 yards per carry.