Crimson Tide scores 10 points in 8 minutes
Published 5:03 am Sunday, October 14, 2007
For the third straight season, Alabama was forced to survive the game’s final play to defeat Mississippi.
This time, the Crimson Tide had to wait an extra five minutes for that final play to be reviewed by replay and overturned on the field to preserve a 27-24 win over the Rebels.
Ole Miss quarterback Seth Adams completed a 41-yard pass to Shay Hodge to give the Rebels possession at the Alabama 4 with 7 seconds left.
After a 5-minute review clearly showed Hodge stepped out of bounds and returned to the field to make the catch, the play was ruled illegal and Alabama (5-2, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) took over on downs for a final snap to seal the victory.
Ole Miss (2-5, 0-4) has lost three straight to Alabama, each by three points.
John Parker Wilson went 26-of-40 for 265 yards and D.J. Hall pulled down 11 receptions for 140 yards.
Alabama finished with 420 yards of total offense, but was plagued by two second-half turnovers and a blocked punt that gave the Rebels a 24-17 lead into the final period.
Leigh Tiffin put Alabama ahead with a 24-yard field goal with 5:14 left that was set up by an interception by Ezekial Knight. Alabama tied the game on the previous possession on a 3-yard touchdown run by Terry Grant with 7:11 remaining.
BenJarvis Green-Ellis ran for 131 yards on 20 carries and Adams was 22-of-40 for 284 yards and two touchdown passes for the Rebels.
Ole Miss defensive end Greg Hardy had 13 tackles, three sacks, forced two fumbles and broke up a pass. “The play of Greg Hardy was fantastic,” said Orgeron.
The Rebels dominated the third period to erase a 17-10 halftime deficit.
Dustin Mouzon blocked an Alabama punt and three plays later, Adams hit Michael Hicks with a 17-yard touchdown pass that gave the Rebels a 24-17 lead, setting up the decisive Alabama rally.
Alabama pulled into a 24-24 tie on a 3-yard run by Terry Grant, set up by a 54-yard punt return by Javier Arenas. One series later, linebacker Ezekial Knight returned an interception 28 yards to set up Leigh Tiffin’s go-ahead field goal from 24 yards for a 27-24 lead with 5:14 left.
Adams led the final surge by the Rebels, converting in a pair of third and fourth down situations into Alabama territory.
The fourth down pass for Hodge was pulled down at the Alabama 4-yard line, with seven seconds remaining.
The Rebels lined up quickly for another play, but the review by officials halted the game and eventually determined the win for Alabama.
The Southeastern Conference released a postgame statement saying, “In the judgment of the replay official, Doyle Jackson, the receiver stepped out of bounds on his own. Also the replay official ruled the receiver touched the ball first, thereby making it an illegal touch. The result of the play is that the ball goes back to the original line of scrimmage with a loss of down. Rules do not allow for a receiver to come back in bounds if he was forced out.”