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Lane Kiffin's Rebels Post the Best-Ever Showing By a Saban Assistant in Loss

Nick Saban made the trip to Oxford, Miss. with a 20-0 record against former assistants. He’s now 21-0, but Saban sure as hell isn't going to be happy with his team's play against former Alabama coordinator Lane Kiffin and his new-look Ole Miss team.
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Nick Saban made the trip to Oxford, Miss., with a 20-0 record against former assistants.

He’s now 21-0, but Saban sure as hell isn't going to be happy with his team's play against former Alabama coordinator Lane Kiffin and his new-look Ole Miss team. 

In the 20 prior meetings where Nick Saban went up against head coaches that used to work under him, no one ever scored 35 points. Kiffin's Rebels hit 35 with over six minutes left in the third quarter. 

They scored 48 on No. 2 Alabama in a 63-48 shootout that very honestly was much closer than the final score indicates. It was the most points ever scored in a non-overtime game in SEC history. 

Neither offense could be stopped. Neither defense could get off the field. Arguably the only major stop of note was when Ole Miss defensive back Jakorey Hawkins ripped the ball from the hands of Alabama running back Najee Harris at the goal line in the second quarter, preventing a touchdown.

Of course, as it goes in this series, Harris had literally never fumbled on over 600 career touches before that point. He still finished the game with over 200 yards on the ground and five touchdowns. The Ole Miss defense is still abominably bad. 

But that's not the point. 

The point is that this Ole Miss team being crafted in Lane Kiffin's image might be the most fun to watch, the most dynamic, most exciting and have the most anticipated future of any 1-2 football team ever. 

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Kiffin's Ole Miss squad Saturday tied Auburn for the most points any team has ever scored against a Nick Saban team at Alabama. 

Matt Corral went 21 for 28 for 365 yards and two scores without turning the ball over, a quarterback efficiency of 208.1 against a Nick Saban defense. 

Both Jerrion Ealy and Snoop Connor ran for over 120 yards and two scores against a Nick Saban defense. The full list of players to ever run for at least 100 yards and two scores against a Saban team is Ealy, Connor, Darren McFadden, Zeke Elliott, Todd Gurley, Clyde Edwards-Helaire and some guy named Dante Smith (The Citadel, if you care).

Elijah Moore caught 11 balls. Tight end Kenny Yeboah caught seven and both Ole Miss scores through the air. Take that Phil Longo and his 'I hate tight ends' offense.

This offense is fun. It captivated the nation on this Saturday night on ESPN, going toe-to-toe with the No. 2 Crimson Tide for 55 minutes of gameplay. 

It's not perfect. Ole Miss has so, so much work to do on defense. And at some point, you have to turn fun and exciting into wins. But it did that last week, winning on the road at Kentucky. Really, Kiffin's only two losses at Ole Miss are to No. 5 Florida and No. 2 Alabama. 

It's always an uphill battle in the SEC West, but Kiffin's Ole Miss squad through three weeks has an incredibly captivating and bright future. 

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