TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (Sports Network) - Trent Richardson garnered 220 all-purpose yards to help eighth-ranked Alabama bounce back from its first loss with a 23-10 win over Ole Miss at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Richardson caught five passes for 101 yards, ran 11 times for 45 yards and returned three kicks for 74 yards for Alabama (6-1, 3-1 SEC), which lost at South Carolina last week to have a 19-game win streak snapped. Greg McElroy rebounded nicely from his first collegiate loss, completing 17-of-25 passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns.
While Ole Miss came into the game as the clear underdog, the Rebels' 12 penalties totaling 106 yards helped Alabama consistently have control of field position.
Jeremiah Masoli was largely ineffective passing, throwing for just 110 yards on 18-of-40 efficiency with a touchdown and an interception, as Ole Miss (3-3, 1-2) had a two-game win streak snapped. The Rebels have historically been dominated in the state of Alabama against the Crimson Tide, dropping to 1-32-1.
Alabama started quickly, and the outcome was never in doubt.
After the Crimson Tide defense forced an opening three-and-out, McElroy led an 11-play, 46-yard series that ended in a seven-yard scoring throw to Preston Dial. The drive was maintained when, on 4th-and-10 from the Rebels' 20, Ole Miss was called for a personal foul roughing the kicker penalty. Three plays later, Alabama scored.
The Tide tacked on Cade Foster's 49-yard field goal with less than a minute to go in the opening quarter, and the Ole Miss offense continued to flounder.
Alabama's Jeremy Shelley kicked a 19-yard field goal for a 13-0 lead before Mississippi finally got across midfield for the first time with under five minutes remaining in the first half. The Rebels couldn't cash in for the touchdown, but Bryson Rose's 22-yard field goal put the visitors on the board.
Alabama had a quick answer after they regained possession with 1:20 to go. An 11-yard completion to Ingram in addition to a face-mask penalty helped the Crimson Tide gain the Ole Miss 43, and McElroy found Marquis Maze for a 15- yard completion into field goal range.
Foster drilled his third field goal of the game from 44 yards away on the first half's final play for a 16-3 margin.
Alabama expanded its lead early in the second half on Richardson's 85-yard catch-and-run to the end zone, though Ole Miss' offense finally came through on its next possession.
The Rebels went almost strictly to the pass, and Masoli was able to convert an early third down with a 15-yard pass to Brandon Bolden. Masoli ran for 26 yards on the next play to gain the Alabama 30, and an eight-yard strike to Bolden on 3rd-and-6 kept the drive moving. Three plays later, on 3rd-and-7 from the 15, Masoli hit Melvin Harris in the end zone for a 23-10 contest with 4:25 left in the third.
Mississippi, though, never crossed midfield for the remainder of the game.