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October 14, 2007The Sunday Rewind is a weekly collection of notes and quotes from the Alabama football game of the weekend.
One more nail-biter
Alabama's penchant for playing close conference games was further galvanized Saturday in a thrilling 27-24 win over Ole Miss that came down to an overturned official ruling in the final seconds. Other than a relatively handy 24-10 win over Vanderbilt, Alabama's has nipped Arkansas by three and lost to Georgia in overtime. But it's certainly not a trend reserved for 2007. This week, we lead off the Sunday Rewind with a look at Alabama's Southeastern Conference results dating back to the 2005 Ole Miss game, and the narrow margins by which most were decided. Remarkably, SEC opponents have averaged 19.4 points per game in that stretch, while Alabama has averaged 19.3.
By the numbers
A look at a few numbers from Alabama's 27-24 win over Ole Miss.
7.8 Alabama RB Roy Upchurch averaged 7.8 yards per carry on five attempts Saturday, the game-high among all ball carriers.
824 With Ole Miss' 420-yard effort on offense Saturday, Alabama's defense has now allowed 824 yards over its past two games. Arkansas' 450-yard total remains the most against the Crimson Tide this year.
35.5 Return specialist Javier Arenas averaged 35.5 yards on two punt returns against the Rebels.
43.0 Although he only got two punts off on the day, punter P.J. Fitzgerald's 43.0 yard average represents his best single-game average of the season.
11 DJ Hall's 11 receptions were a season-high for the record-breaking senior.
9 Quarterback John Parker Wilson distributed completions to nine different receivers Saturday.
0 Noseguard Lorenzo Washington was shut out of the tackle column for the first time this season.
Quote of the day
Two that got away
Alabama's Simeon Castille made his second interception in as many games Saturday at Ole Miss, to go with seven tackles, one for a loss, and two pass break-ups. But like most athletes, Castille had more to say about what more could have been done.
The senior had a shot at a three-interception day, but one play ended up being an Ole Miss touchdown and the other kept the Rebels' final drive alive.
"I looked back at the quarterback and sure enough he's throwing it, and I never even looked at where the receiver was," Castille said of a TD pass to Michael Hicks in the back of the end zone, "and he just came up under and made a play on the ball like he's supposed to do. I've got to go up and get the ball I can't just wait on it."
On the other missed opportunity, Castille broke up a pass along the home sideline that he felt he should have caught during Ole Miss' desperation drive.
"I had a chance to end the game," he said.
RB Glen Coffee's difficulty holding onto the ball Saturday, including a crucial fumble inside the Ole Miss 5-yard line, didn't sit well with the sophomore from Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.
"As a running back you can't fumble the ball and that's something I've got to work on going into next week," Coffee said. "It's not acceptable as a running back."
Coffee finished with 41 yards on 12 carries, and caught two passes for another 21 yards.
Among Alabama reserves to get meaningful playing time Saturday were Javier Arenas at the dimeback position, Chris Capps at right tackle, and Brandon Fanney at the "Jack" linebacker spot. A number of wide receivers continued to rotate, including Will Oakley and Nikita Stover. Alabama matched and surpassed its 2006 team sack total (13) in only its seventh game of the season Saturday against Ole Miss. Now with 14 sacks on the year, the Crimson Tide has five games remaining, six assuming a bowl bid. Rashad Johnson on the bottles and cups thrown from the stands: "I put my helmet on and I was like, let me go ahead and get out of here." Alabama's last three games against Ole Miss have been won by three points, all by UA, including one that went to overtime.