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Tua Tagovailoa, DeVonta Smith paced UA in first half vs. Rebels

Cedric Mason - Touchdown Alabama Magazine

Mississippi is still Mississippi. 

Offensive coordinator, Rich Rodriguez used a lot of tempo in the first half against Alabama and John Rhys Plumlee held his own at quarterback. The freshman accounts for a game-high 65 yards rushing on 14 carries – including a 1-yard touchdown in the first quarter. 

Despite trailing 38-10 at halftime, Plumlee’s running abilities have given the Crimson Tide’s defense issues.

He also completed five of nine passes for 45 yards, with a 28-yard hook up to Elijah Moore. 

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Tua Tagovailoa had seven incompletions in the first half. 

The junior quarterback for Alabama completed 17 of 24 pass attempts for 301 yards with four scoring tosses.

He found DeVonta Smith on a 74-yard strike to the end zone on the Tide’s first possession of the game.

The two would connect again on three plays of 20-plus yards scores in the second quarter. Tagovailoa has 21 touchdown passes this season and 75 for his career, moving him three shy of surpassing AJ McCarron (77) for first all-time in school history. 

Smith has a game-high 221 yards receiving on eight catches. 

Jerry Jeudy, a junior, has five catches for 62 yards. 

Brian Robinson and Najee Harris both have over five yards per carry in the first half, while Robinson leads the Tide with 40 yards rushing on five carries. 

Harris chimes in with 39 yards on six attempts. 

In the absence of Will Reichard (hip flexor), Joseph Bulovas nailed a 36-yard field goal in the second quarter.

Regardless of its issues with stopping Plumlee, Christian Harris led Alabama’s defense in tackles with seven and had 1.5 stops for loss. 

The duo of Anfernee Jennings and Xavier McKinney have six total tackles, and the tandem of Raekwon Davis and Shyheim Carter each have four stops.

A trio of players — including Jared Mayden and Shane Lee — have three tackles.

Mississippi has 152 yards offensively, with 107 coming via its rushing attack. 

The Tide has to generate more of a push up front in the second half, as the Rebels will have possession to start the third quarter.  

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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