The hype for No. 12 Ole Miss's visit to No. 1 Alabama was born out of last season's game. The Rebels and Crimson Tide combined for an SEC-record 1,370 scrimmage yards in Bama's 63-48 win last season. Ole Miss's defense entered Tuscaloosa clearly improved from its pitiful performance of 2020, and the offense was just as good, if not better. Combine that with the personal dynamic between the respective head coaches and, well, Lane Kiffin said what we were all thinking.
"Get your popcorn ready."
The hype lived all of two drives.
Ole Miss accepted the ball to open the game and moved from its own 35 to the red zone, converting a 4th-and-3 at the Tide 35 and a 4th-and-2 at the 18. The third time was not the charm when Jerrion Ealy was stuffed for no gain on 4th-and-1 from the 6, and the Rebels' opportunity to land the first punch ended in a big ol' whiff.
Alabama promptly moved 94 yards in 13 plays and the game was pretty much over from there.
Ole Miss's second possession ended on an incomplete pass on 4th-and-2 from its own 47, and Alabama turned the short field into its second touchdown.
Three first half Ole Miss possessions ended on downs, and all three turned into Alabama touchdowns as the Tide took a 28-0 halftime lead. Bama scored the game's first 35 points before cruising to a not-as-close-as-the-final-score 42-21 win.
In fact, Alabama was so secure in its victory that it got the popcorn out before the game ended.
"We got dominated up front," Kiffin said afterward. "Coach Saban said a year ago every call (against their defense) was the right call that we had. Everything went our way. I felt like that today for them defensively. Credit them for showing up and making all the plays."