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Alabama satisfied with win over Rebels

By By Mark Etheridge / staff writer
October 20, 2002
TUSCALOOSA, Ala It was all Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Earlier this week, Alabama head coach Dennis Franchione admitted that the Ole Miss game was circled on the schedule signifying its importance. During Alabama's off-week, Alabama's coaches stressed the importance of performing well this week.
His team responded. Tailback Santonio Beard, maligned after the loss to Georgia, bounced back with a breakout performance scoring five touchdowns and rushing for 138 yards on 13 carries.
Ole Miss head coach David Cutcliffe was impressed with what he saw Saturday.
His quarterback Eli Manning agreed, "Their front four is real good. They played great defense and had a good defensive plan."
The Alabama team drew some inspiration from punter Lane Bearden. Bearden tore his anterior cruciate ligament September 28 in Arkansas. Less than a month later, Bearden hobbled onto the field at Bryant-Denny and punted five times for a forty yard average.
Alabama wanted to come out play the kind of football the team felt was missing in their last outing against Georgia.
Fortunately for Alabama, the team was ready to play. Now they turn their sights to Tennessee.