TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — No. 15 Ole Miss built a big third-quarter lead and then held on to upset No. 2 Alabama 43-37 on Saturday night in an SEC shootout in Bryant-Denney Stadium.
The Rebels stunned the Crimson Tide with 30-10 and 43-24 leads before Alabama fought back, scoring two fourth-quarter touchdowns to close the gap to six points. Alabama had the ball twice in the final minutes, but the Ole Miss hung on for its second straight win over the Tide.
Ole Miss (3-0, 1-0 SEC) led 17-10 at halftime and began the third-quarter scoring with a 66-yard touchdown play by wide receiver Quincy Adeboyejo to make it 24-10.
After stopping Alabama (2-1, 0-1), Ole Miss added field goals on its two next possessions to boost its lead to 30-10.
Alabama rallied behind quarterback Jake Coker. He scored on a 3-yard run to cap a nine-play, 69-yard drive and then threw an 8-yard scoring pass to ArDarius Stewart to close the Tide to 30-24.
Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly responded with a 73-yard pass to Cody Core to boost the lead back to 36-24. After an Alabama turnover, Kelly fired a 24-yard touchdown pass to Laquon Treadwell to make it 43-24.
Alabama answered with two touchdowns. First, running back Derrick Henry ran 2 yards for a score and, after the Crimson Tide recovered an onside kick, Coker connected with Richad Mullaney to trim the deficit to six.
But on its final two possessions, Alabama threw an interception and turned the ball over on down.
The game didn’t start well for Alabama as it fumbled on the opening kickoff. But the Rebels didn’t capitalize on the field possession, going three-and-out and settling for a field goal to take a 3-0 lead.
When Alabama took the field on its first possession, Cooper Bateman was at quarterback. Coker had started the previous two games for the Tide.
Bateman moved the Tide’s offense in the first quarter, but the unit didn’t produce any points.
Alabama added a field goal early in the second quarter to tie it at 3. On that drive, Alabama made it to the 2-yard line but couldn’t punch it in.
With 7:30 left in the second quarter, Ole Miss running back Jordan Wilkins scored from 1 yard to make it 10-3. The scoring drive was set up by an interception. It was the Tide’s second turnover off the night.
On the following kickoff, Alabama fumbled again for its third turnover of the half. Ole Miss added another touchdown on a 4-yard quarterback keeper by Kelly to make it 17-3.
Coker replaced Bateman at quarterback on Alabama’s next drive and led the Tide on a 15-play, 75-yard drive that spanned 5:40 to make it 17-10 at halftime.
NOTES: After Jake Coker started the first two games, it was Cooper Bateman at quarterback when the Tide opened the game against Ole Miss. Saturday marked the first start of Bateman’s Alabama career. … Crimson Tide long snapper Cole Mazza was suspended from the game for an undisclosed reason. Walk-on Alex Harrelson replaced him in the lineup. … Alabama turned the ball over three times in the first half. … Alabama WR Robert Foster left the game with a right shoulder injury. … After putting up 600-plus yards in its first two games, Ole Miss gained just 95 yards in the first half.