TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Brian Robinson Jr. rushed to a career high of 171 yards and four touchdowns, and No. 1 Alabama braked most of the nation in Saturday’s 42-21 win over No. 12 Mississippi.
Bryce Young managed a few touchdowns for the Crimson Tide (5-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference), but the ‘Bama defense and ground game stole some of the thunder from a matchup of the two leading Heisman Trophy candidates who came into play.
Alabama turned to Robinson to steer clear of Matt Corral and the attack of the Rebels (3-1, 0-1), who had played three non-conference games for an open date.
The Tide’s fifth-year senior contributed 36 times and took the first 100-yard game of his career.
Young completed 21 of 27 passes for 241 yards and was intercepted once for Alabama, who led 28-0 at halftime. had him as the second leading Heisman candidate to come into play, behind only Corral.
The Rebel star ran for a touchdown, but was largely restrained by a team he set on fire last season. Corral also passed for a touchdown, completing 22 of 32 passes for 213 yards while losing a fumble. Corral extended his run of games with a TD pass to 16 games with 2:23 left, equaling Eli Manning for the second longest run of such streak at Ole Miss.
The Alabama defense, burned a year ago by Ole Miss for 48 points and 647 yards, made the big fourth-down stops and a host of others.
The Tide limited Ole Miss to a total of 291 yards, despite giving up a few touchdowns in the fourth quarter. The Rebels led the nation with 635 yards and 53 points per game.
Ole Miss did not have a second-rate receiver Jonathan Mingo, who wore a boot on his left foot and did not dress.
Alabama coach Nick Saban improved to 24-0 against his former assistants, but ex-offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin didn’t help his own cause with three failed four-down calls in the first half. Saban turned the tables with two touchdowns on four-down plays.
THE TAKE OUT
Ole Miss: Kiffin finally let that fourth-down magic disappear, trying to find an edge over a very talented opponent. The Rebels had converted 12 of the 14 that came into play, but this time had questionable decisions.
Alabama: Flexed his muscles in the first of four games against SEC West teams currently ranked, especially on defense. But Young faced a significant amount of pressure, forcing a ball into the end zone for an interception as he scrambled and the defense had some delays.
Alabama did nothing to diminish its status as the No. 1 team, but could lose some ground to second-ranked Georgia. The Bulldogs destroyed No. 8 Arkansas, 37-0.
Ole Miss receives Arkansas, with both teams losing.
Alabama visit #15 Texas A&M in their third game against a ranked team away from home.