9:00 PM ET, September 11, 2004
Bryant-Denny Stadium, TUSCALOOSA, AL
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- Brodie Croyle threw two touchdown passes and Ray Hudson rushed for a career-high 116 yards and scored a pair of TDs to lift Alabama to a 28-7 victory over Mississippi on Saturday night.
The Crimson Tide, 2-0 for the first time since 1999, has won 21 of the last 22 meetings with Ole Miss in Tuscaloosa and seven straight.
Ole Miss, meanwhile, dropped its first two games for the first time since 1987 and continued to sputter offensively.
The Tide overpowered the Rebels for 221 yards on the ground and held onto the ball for more than 37 minutes. Hudson took the last of his 14 carries 46 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown with 10:34 left in the fourth quarter and also caught a 13-yard scoring pass.
Kenneth Darby gained 86 yards on 17 carries.
Croyle was 14-of-22 for 169 yards and hit Tyrone Prothro for a 15-yard score in the first half as the Tide mostly kept it on the ground and relied on short passes.
The Rebels turned to backup quarterback Ethan Flatt in the third quarter after Micheal Spurlock's second straight shaky performance. Spurlock was 5-of-15 for 54 yards and lost a fumble that led to a Tide touchdown.
Flatt fared somewhat better, directing the Rebels' only touchdown drive in the fourth quarter, though it was kept alive by a pass-interference call on fourth-and-9. He hit Eric Rice for a 6-yard touchdown pass two minutes into the fourth quarter to avoid the shutout.
Hudson answered with his long touchdown scamper.
Ole Miss had just 192 total yards and looked nothing like the offensive team that Eli Manning led to a 10-3 record last season.
The Rebels had plenty of chances, but weren't accepting handouts in the first quarter. They started three of their first four possessions in Alabama territory, thanks partly to two fumbles, but wound up with a missed field goal and two punts.
They got only one first down out of it but did twice bury the Tide inside its 5.
Alabama drove 98 yards the second time, scoring on Tim Castille's 1-yard plunge for a 7-0 lead. The drive was aided by three costly Ole Miss penalties.
Roman Harper jarred the ball loose from Spurlock at the Rebels' 8 on the next play. After a holding penalty, Croyle hit Prothro in the end zone.
D.J. Hall and Keith Brown became the first freshman receivers to start for Alabama since Ozzie Newsome in 1974, but the offense still racked up 390 yards.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||5-16||7-12|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||0-0|
|TD||9:15||TIM CASTILLE 1 YD RUN (BRIAN BOSTICK KICK)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 98 yards.
|TD||7:50||TYRONE PROTHRO 15 YD PASS FROM BRODIE CROYLE (BRIAN BOSTICK KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 8 yards.
|TD||8:15||RAY HUDSON 13 YD PASS FROM BRODIE CROYLE (BRIAN BOSTICK KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 66 yards.
|TD||13:05||ERIC RICE 6 YD PASS FROM ETHAN FLATT (JONATHAN NICHOLS KICK)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 66 yards.
|TD||10:34||RAY HUDSON 46 YD RUN (BRIAN BOSTICK KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 85 yards.