Ole Miss 43, Bama 37: Oh what a night it was….

Adejebo

So, I awakened this morning and immediately checked the newspaper, which I

Cleveland
Cleveland

mostly read on my telephone, and the score was still the same: Ole Miss 43, Alabama 37 (at Tuscaloosa). I don’t know what would have seemed more strange 20 years ago: that score or mostly reading the newspaper on my phone.

So it wasn’t a dream, though sometimes it seemed one.

I mean, does this stuff happen in real life:

• Alabama fumbling and losing the ball on the opening kickoff on the way to being minus-5 in turnovers at home?

• Ole Miss beating Alabama for the second straight year with a quarterback who transferred in from Scooba Tech (East Mississippi), and this year it was a different one? Just think about that for a minute.

• Ole Miss taking a 20-point third quarter lead and Alabama fans heading for the exits in droves? (Hey, haven’t Alabama fans been watching all these years? Never, ever count the Tide out.)

• This touchdown pass: Chad Kelly leaps high to somehow bat and catch a snap that would have been perfect were he nine feet tall, then he rushes his throw (much too high, and off his back foot), in the direction of LaQuon Treadwell (bracketed by two Bama defenders), who tips it forward down the field to a speeding Quincy Adeboyejo, who plucks it out of the air and races to the end zone for a 65-yard touchdown? Want to watch it again? Click here.

(Note from the writer: I was watching the game with three Ole Miss-diehard friends, one of whom has watched virtually every Rebel game since he has been alive. Said he, after that the Kelly-to-Treadwell-to-Adeboyejo miracle: “That was the least Ole Miss thing I have ever seen.”)

•••

It was an interesting, marathon-ish game, one that instantly vaults Ole Miss into the national championship picture. Yes, it does. It’s only September, but no team in college football has the resume’ Ole Miss has. And, keep in mind: The Rebels are 3-0 and averaging 64 points per game without their best player, left tackle Laremy Tunsil. Well, I say he is the Rebels’ best player. I thought for sure he was their best player. But I’m not sure even Tunsil could block Robert Nkemdiche.

That’s a story for another day.

The story for this day: Ole Miss is 3-0, with Vanderbilt coming to Oxford,  and now has defeated Alabama at Alabama for the second time in the long, storied football histories of both schools.

One more thing: The two teams were evenly matched, talent-wise, which is no small statement. The biggest difference to these eyes: Ole Miss was much better at quarterback. Kelly, the Rebels’ second straight starting quarterback from Scooba Tech, was more poised, more accurate and more clutch than either of the two Crimson Tide quarterbacks. Switch Kelly to the other team and you’ve got a totally different result.

But you can’t do that.

It’s still 43-37, Ole Miss, and you can read in on your telephone in black and white — or in technicolor for that matter.

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