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September 28, 2013

ALABAMA FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Another reversed targeting call riles Tide in shutout of red-hot Rebels

TUSCALOOSA — The newfangled targeting rule reared its head against Alabama for a second time this season Saturday night.

And once again, a subsequent review resulted in a reversal of an ejection, firing up the already-rowdy fans at Bryant-Denny Stadium, as well as the top-ranked Tide en route to a 25-0 victory over red-hot Ole Miss.

With 4:41 remaining in the third quarter, a Bo Wallace pass glanced off Evan Engram's hands before Alabama defensive back Eddie Jackson collided with the Rebel tight end just outside the right sideline.

A flag was thrown, and Jackson was immediately disqualified for targeting a defenseless receiver.

But just like in the Texas A&M game with HaHa Clinton-Dix, officials reviewed the call and ultimately overturned the ejection. Replays showed helmet-to-helmet contact was made, but it appeared incidental on Jackson's part.

And also like in the College Station showdown, the 15-yard penalty associated with targeting still stuck, giving Ole Miss a fresh set of downs at Alabama's 15.

With the crowd in a frenzy, the Tide D responded in the biggest way possible, proceeding to kill not just one, but two fourth-down conversion attempts by the Rebels deep in Alabama territory.

Linebacker C.J. Mosley heroically swatted away a pass on the first, while Deion Belue and Clinton-Dix combined to do the same on the second.

There were no shortage of big plays made by the Tide's dominant defense, which capped off a near-flawless performance with a safety around the six-minute mark in the fourth quarter and a Denzel Devall forced fumble and Ed Stinson recovery the next time the unit took the field.

Clinton-Dix upended wide receiver Laquon Treadwell with a low hit to cause a short spot on fourth-and-short on the Rebels' first drive of the night, and Jackson halted their third with his first career interception on a trick pass by Treadwell.

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