By Barry Allen
UA Media Relations

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama’s Santonio Beard joined an elite group of Crimson Tide running backs when he scored five touchdowns in a 42-7 win over Ole Miss in front of 83,818 fans at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Oct. 19, 2002.

“It was a great game,’ Beard told reporters after the win. “The offensive line did a great job and opened some holes. They deserve a lot of credit. They got the job done today.

Beard scored early and often as the junior rushed into the Alabama record books, tying Shaun Alexander’s record of five rushing touchdowns in a game. Alexander had five rushing touchdowns in the Crimson Tide’s 38-31 win over BYU on Sept. 5, 1998. Beard joined that short list with five touchdowns against Ole Miss, including three in the second half.

“Wow, I’m can’t believe this,” Beard added. “I think once I get home and watch game or see the highlights on ESPN, I’ll probably believe it then. I’m still in shock.”

He is also one of three UA players to account for five touchdowns in one game, joining Gary Hollingsworth (vs. Ole Miss, 1989) and Alexander (vs. BYU, 1998).

Beard finished the game with 13 rushing attempts for 138 yards and scored the first two times he touched the football as No. 24 Alabama cruised to an easy win over No. 21 Ole Miss. Alabama rushed for 265 yards and rolled up 456 yards of offense against the Ole Miss defense.

Sophomore quarterback Brodie Croyle completed 10 of 17 passes for 222 yards and one touchdown in the win. Receivers Dre Fulgham (87 yards, 1 TD) and Sam Collins (83 yards) caught three passes each to lead the UA receivers.

Beard scored on a runs of 25 and 35 yards in the first quarter to stake the Crimson Tide to a 14-0 lead. Beard’s 25-yard run capped a nine-play, 85-yard drive and marked the sixth time in seven games Alabama scored on its opening possession. Five minutes later, he did it again, this time on a 35-yard run to put the Crimson Tide up 14-0 with 5:54 left in the first quarter.

Ole Miss put its only points on the board late in the first quarter when Robert Johnson capped a nine-play, 70-yard drive with a 2-yard run. Jonathan Nichols extra point cut the lead to 14-7 with 27 seconds left in the first quarter.

From there, it was all Alabama as the Crimson Tide stretched its lead to 21-7 at halftime when Croyle fired a 51-yard pass to Dre Fulgham with 2:27 left in the second quarter. Kyle Robinson, who kicked all six extra points, made it 21-0 at intermission.

The second half belonged to Beard.

Alabama scored on its first possession of the third quarter when Beard’s 9-yard run with 10:19 left in the quarter capped a
six-play, 50-yard drive and gave the Tide a 28-7 lead.

Beard added two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter to tie the Alabama single-game record. His 2-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter capped an impressive seven-play, 98-yard drive. He closed out his record-setting day with a 10-yard run with 3:50 left in the game to make the final score 42-7. The Tide’ last touchdown covered 84 yards in 11 plays and took nearly six minutes.

Beard’s rushing performance was matched by a tenacious defense.

The Crimson Tide defense held Ole Miss to 53 rushing yards (28 attempts) and registered seven tackles behind the line, including three sacks, added seven pass breakups and forced two turnovers in the win. Ole Miss quarterback Eli Manning completed 18 of 32 passes for 219 yards and threw two interceptions.

Scoring Summary
TEAM 1 2 3 4 F
ALA 14 7 7 14 42
MISS 7 0 0 0 7

First Quarter
UA 7, UM 0 (10:37) - Santonio Beard 25-yard run (Kyle Robinson kick) (9 plays, 85 yards, 4:23 elapsed)
UA 14, UM 0 (5:54) – Beard 35-yard run (Robinson kick) (5 plays, 59 yards, 1:46 elapsed)
UA 14, UM 7 (0:27) – Robert Johnson 2-yard run (Jonathan Nichols kick) (9 plays, 70 yards, 5:27 elapsed)

Second Quarter
UA 21, UM 7 (2:27) – Dre Fulgham 51-yard pass from Brodie Croyle (Robinson kick)

Third Quarter
UA 28, UM 7 (10:19) – Beard 9-yard run (Robinson kick) (6 plays, 50 yards, 2:29 elapsed)

Fourth Quarter
UA 35, UM 7 (14:56) – Beard 2-yard run (Robinson kick) (7 plays, 98 yards, 2:24 elapsed)
UA 42, UM 7 (3:50) – Beard 10-ayrad run (Robinson kick) (11 plays, 84 yards, 5:41 elapsed)

Attendance: 83,818
I was there. I had bought tickets in the Ole Piss section and the whole first half heard hotty toddy till I about puked. Needless to say I had the whole section to myself not too long into the 3rd quarter. As the mass exodus of Ole Miss fans began I could be heard to say "Hey where yall going? The game is just starting to get good." :lol:

It was great! I didn't leave early I stayed for all 6 glorious touchdowns.
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