EditorsNote: updates to clarify Tua’s school records
No. 2 Alabama trailed for the first time this season but quickly retook command and rolled to a 59-31 victory over Ole Miss on Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala., behind record-setting performances by junior quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and junior receiver DeVonta Smith.
It was the 29th consecutive home victory for the Crimson Tide (5-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference), the longest active streak in the country, but only a little over halfway to the program’s record 57-game win streak in Bryant-Denny Stadium set from 1963-82.
Tagovailoa ran for one touchdown and passed for a school-record six, also topping the own mark for touchdown responsibility with seven. The seven scores gave him 86 touchdowns rushing and passing for his career, topping the former school mark of 80 set by AJ McCarron.
Finally, Tagovailoa now is tied with McCarron for career touchdown passes with 77, and his 418 passing yards moved him up to No. 4 on Alabama’s career passing list.
Smith ended up with single-game school records for receiving yards (274) and touchdown receptions (five), the latter tying an SEC record. He had 263 receiving yards and three touchdown catches in the first four outings.
Ole Miss freshman quarterback John Rhys Plumlee passed for only 141 yards but led all players in rushing with 109 in his first career start for the Rebels (2-3, 1-1 SEC). He had touchdown tosses to fellow freshmen Jerrion Ealy (9 yards) and Jonathan Mingo (26).
Plumlee’s 1-yard touchdown run on a short drive set up by Alabama’s muffed punt gave the Rebels an early 7-7 tie, and Luke Logan’s 33-yard field goal put them up 10-7 at the end of the first quarter.
But the second quarter was all-Alabama. Tagovailoa passed for three more touchdowns and 159 yards and also scored on a 7-yard run in the period to put the Tide up 38-10 at the halftime break. His 301 yards passing in the first half alone marked his ninth 300-yard plus game.
—Field Level Media