— TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama's defense set the tone on the game's opening series when HaHa Clinton-Dix upended Mississippi receiver Laquon Treadwell inches short on fourth down.
"That started the whole thing," Crimson Tide linebacker C.J. Mosley said.
The top-ranked Tide spent the rest of the night shutting down No. 24 Mississippi's running game and making big stops, with a couple of forced turnovers tossed in, during Saturday night's 25-0 victory. It was a dominant performance that looked much like the two previous 'Bama defenses, which were the nation's stingiest and powered BCS-title teams.
The Tide (4-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) held a Rebels offense that came in averaging 490 yards and 38 points to 205 yards and 11 first downs.
Alabama was motivated by perceived slights, including comments by Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace, who said he felt the Rebels could score on anyone. They seemed to grate on the defensive leader Mosley, who summed it up: "They called us out, we answered the bell."
"We were kind of getting into it going into the game," he said. "I kept telling everybody, 'Remember what they said, we're trying to play Alabama defense.'"
Clinton-Dix said Mosley, who had a fourth-down stop of his own and made a tackle for a safety along with Jeoffrey Pagan, was especially fired up before the game. That might have gotten the defense going, if it wasn't the safety's initial stop to halt a drive into Alabama territory.
"He started yelling. I saw it in his eyes," Clinton-Dix said. "I caught the chills just looking at him. I felt it for him."
Alabama hasn't allowed a touchdown in the two games since giving up a program-worst 628 yards to Texas A&M, limiting Colorado State to two field goals.