OXFORD, miss. – The Vaught Hemingway Stadium was the scene of epic proportions on Saturday night, three shots from Alabama's 62-7 win over Ole Miss.
1. The All-Hawaii QB duel did not hit the hype. This game was supposed to be a fight between Hawaiian-born quarterbacks with skillful feet, strong, accurate arms and a talent for making big games. Even Ole Miss fans came in the fun, wearing leis around their necks, and the public address spokesman, about 30 minutes before the kickoff, roared through the stadium, "the battle of the Hawaii quarterbacks!" It turned into a snooze party with Ole Miss Jordan. Ta'amu threw down two murders – one of them – and Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa was pulled out of the slaughter after six offensive series. He played about a quarter and a half and left the game with the Crimson Tide 35-7.
Ta'amu and Tagovailoa grew up just a few miles apart and even worked out together at Ewa Beach Park. Tagovailoa finished 11-of-15 for 191 yards and two touchdowns, and Jalen Hurts was 7-for-10 for 85 yards, leading the Tide on back-to-back touchdown drives in an all-round throb.
2. Alabama's Elite Pass Catcher outshines Ole Miss's. In the first two weeks of the season in Alabama, the college football world seemed to draw the same frightening conclusion: Oh god, Nick Saban has a quarterback, That did not change on Saturday night (in fact, Saban will tell you, he has two quarterbacks), but the Crimson Tide have, in addition to two competent signal callers and a predictable stellar defense, something else to worry about: receiver. Ole Miss owns three of the best recipients in D.J. Metcalf, DeMarkus Lodge and A.J. Brown, but it was Bama's trio of passers-by who did the damage on Saturday.
Jerry Jeudy had three catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns, DeVonta Smith had three for 28 yards and tight end Irv Smith Jr. had three for 42 yards and one result. Jeudy showed his capricious athleticism and scored a point in the middle on a 79-yard car and later danced around a defender of Ole Miss with a nasty match. DeVonta Smith flashed the slippery speed from him, and Irv Smith caught a nice shoulder grip on the pylon.
3. Wanted: Ole Miss Defense. Ole Miss allowed most of the yards to be an FCS team in a single half in the history of the Southeastern Conference last week against southern Illinois. If Alabama's kicker Joseph Bulovas had switched to a 38-yard field goal attempt early in the second quarter, the Tide would have set the league record for most points in a game with two SEC teams. We all know Rebels coach Matt Luke is in the process of rebuilding, and we all know that defending Ole Miss is not very good (see the first line of this note), but Alabama's punches were too simple: touchdowns of 79 and 43 yards Two punts all play and a perfect 3-for-3 success rate on the third downs through three quarters.