SportsFootballNo. 1 ranked Crimson Tide rolls over Southern Miss

No. 1 ranked Crimson Tide rolls over Southern Miss

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Alabama (4-0), the number one ranked team in the nation, proved too much to handle for Head Coach Will Hall and Southern Miss (1-3), crushing the Golden Eagles in a 63-14 victory.

Alabama fired on all cylinders from the first seconds of the game when Jameson Williams returned the opening kickoff for a 100-yard touchdown. 

The Crimson Tide totaled 606 yards on offense, led by quarterback Bryce Young’s play. Young continued his stellar start to the season with 20 completions on 22 passes for 313 yards, five touchdowns and one interception.

Bryce Young continued his fast start to the season against Southern Miss. Through four games, Young has thrown for 15 touchdowns and one interception. Photo by: Austin Lindsey

“They’re really good, as good as advertised,” Hall said.

While Hall said the score does not reflect where the program wants to be, he said he respected the team’s “effort and attitude” throughout the game against the Crimson Tide, including the offense’s ability to score twice after going scoreless in two games earlier this season.

“We’re a young offense that’s growing. It was good to put two scoring drives together against a great team and we can build on this moving forward,” Hall said.

In front of 100,077 fans at Bryant-Denny Stadium, the Golden Eagles faced one of the toughest college atmospheres to play in.

“The crowd got so loud that from time to time, you couldn’t even hear. It was really hard,” safety Malik Shorts said.

Southern Miss lines up against Alabama in a PAT. Photo by: Charlie Luttrell

Alabama took control of the tempo in the first half, scoring on its first five drives.

Southern Miss had an opportunity to score in the first quarter after two passes to tight end Grayson Gunter, but Ty Keyes threw an interception on the drive.

Gunter finished the game as the team’s leading receiver with three catches for 61 yards. Prior to the game, he had only caught three passes this season.

“Hall put me in a position to make plays and Ty Keyes stayed poised in the pocket and made throws,” Gunter said. “I knew coming into this week I was going to have an opportunity to make some catches and kudos to Hall for making that happen.”

In his second start, Keyes threw for 131 yards on 11 of 24 passes for two touchdowns and one interception. Keyes also finished as the team’s leading rusher with 41 yards.

“I thought Ty took huge steps forward,” Hall said. “He made some really good throws and shows he belongs in an environment like this. He’s only going to get better from this.”

True freshman quarterback Ty Keyes made his second career start against No. 1 ranked Alabama. Photo by: Austin Lindsey

Otherwise, Southern Miss failed to get its rushing attack going, being held to a total of 82 yards on 33 attempts. Starting back Frank Gore Jr. finished with just seven yards on nine attempts.

Roydell Williams soon broke free for a 55-yard gain at the end of the first quarter and added to the scoreboard with a one-yard touchdown.

The Crimson Tide succeeded against the Golden Eagles’ second nationally-ranked rush defense, rushing for 213 yards. Southern Miss allowed only 136 rushing yards through its first three games.

Defensive Coordinator Austin Armstrong expresses his frustration after Alabama scores against Southern Miss.

Young aired the ball to Williams later in the second quarter, beating Southern Miss’ secondary for an 81-yard touchdown and extending the Crimson Tide’s lead to 35-0.

Keyes and Southern Miss’ offense found a rhythm late in the second quarter as freshman Chandler Pittman caught a 13-yard touchdown, giving him his first-career touchdown.

However, Alabama responded to Southern Miss’ score with a ten-play, 97-yard drive to lead at halftime 42-7. Young tossed his fourth touchdown to Jase McClellan on a nine-yard score.

McClellan then led the Crimson Tide with two rushes for 38 yards in the third quarter, leading to Young’s fifth touchdown on an 11-yard pass to Latu.

Shorts stopped Alabama from scoring in the third quarter, giving Young his first interception of the year from a dropped pass. Shorts also led the team with ten tackles, his most in a game this season.

Williams returned another kick for a touchdown, earning his third score of the game in the third quarter. Williams recorded 258 all-purpose yards in the game. 

“That was disappointing because we had been so good in the kicking game,” Hall said. “We’ve got to get back on the drawing board and look at what happened right there and what the issues are.”

Keyes added another touchdown on an eleven-yard touchdown pass to Demarcus Jones in the fourth quarter. Alabama scored two more touchdowns to end the game.

SM2 Sports Director Austin Lindsey recaps Alabama’s 63-14 victory against Southern Miss.

“I think we’re a team that’s trending in the right direction,” Gunter said. “We’ve got a young quarterback who’s out there competing every play, we’ve got guys who are spilling it…giving everything we have.”

With the loss, Southern Miss falls to 5-37-2 against the Crimson Tide all-time.

“I’m just proud of our guys. We didn’t give up and gave them a fight,” Shorts said. “This is a learning experience and we’re glad to have played these guys,” he added.

The Golden Eagles will face Rice next in Houston, Texas Oct. 2 to open its conference schedule.

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