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(Saturday, September 29th)
Final Score: (1) Alabama 33, Ole Miss 14
Tuscaloosa, AL (Sports Network) - AJ McCarron threw a pair of touchdown passes to Amari Cooper and No. 1 Alabama handled Ole Miss, 33-14, on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
McCarron completed 22-of-30 passes for 180 yards without an interception and Cooper finished with 84 yards on eight catches for the Crimson Tide (5-0, 2-0 SEC).
"Coop did an excellent job for us running the right routes and being on time," said McCarron. "We had good chemistry the whole night, so we definitely were good in that area."
Christion Jones returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown in the win, while Eddie Lacy had 19 carries for 82 yards and Jeremy Shelley went 4-for-4 on field goal attempts.
Bo Wallace threw for 123 yards with two interceptions on 15-of-26 passing for the Rebels (3-2, 0-1), who were coming off a 39-0 shutout of Tulane.
Jeff Scott and Randall Mackey both had a rushing touchdown in Saturday's setback.
Alabama faced its first deficit of the season on Saturday when Scott plunged across the goal line from one yard away at the start of the second quarter.
The junior's short scoring burst capped a 75-yard drive and gave the Rebels a 7-6 lead, which lasted a matter of seconds, as Jones caught the ensuing kickoff on one hop and raced up the sideline for a touchdown.
McCarron and Cooper then connected on a pair of scoring strikes to give the defending national champions a 27-7 advantage at the half.
Both touchdowns were set up by an interception, as Dee Milliner's pick at the Ole Miss 35 led to Cooper's over-the-shoulder, 16-yard grab in the front corner of the end zone. The freshman receiver's grab near the pylon was initially called incomplete, but the play was ruled a touchdown following a review.
Later in the quarter, Mackey's only pass of the game was intercepted by Deion Belue at the Alabama 32.
The Crimson Tide capitalized with a 68-yard drive which resulted in a touchdown when Cooper made a leaping grab over a defender in the back of the end zone 1:37 before halftime.
"Those turnovers were really the difference in the game," said Alabama coach Nick Saban. "The game was 7-6, and then we got the turnovers, and we got a little lead. Turnovers are always that way."
The Rebels outscored Alabama 7-6 in the second half courtesy of a 16-play, 70- yard scoring trek early in the third quarter, which was capped by Mackey's 12- yard run.
Ole Miss, though, crossed midfield just once after that touchdown, and Shelley tacked on a pair of fourth-quarter field goals -- of 26 and 24 yards -- to seal the win.
The senior kicker had a pair of 38-yard field goals in the first quarter to give the Crimson Tide a 6-0 lead.
Alabama has a bye next week before hitting the road for back-to-back games at Missouri and at Tennessee ... Ole Miss has lost nine straight SEC openers ... The Rebels are 0-9 all-time against the nation's No. 1 team ... Alabama leads the all-time series, 49-9-2, and hasn't lost to Ole Miss since 2003.
09/30 01:54:38 ET