It’s not surprising that one team controlled the tempo in the Ole Miss-Alabama game Saturday.

What is surprising, though, is that the Rebels were that team.

Lane Kiffin’s up-tempo offense kept the Crimson Tide on their toes all evening as Nick Saban got a scare from his former assistant. But tradition won out as Alabama did enough to hold the Rebels off and win 63-48.

Saban improved to 21-0 against his former assistants.

Defense was nowhere to be found with both teams trading touchdowns for most of the game. Alabama topped 720 total yards. Ole Miss had more than 640. Ole Miss punted twice, Alabama once.

The rest of the time was just a march toward the end zone.

After Ole Miss took a 14-7 lead, Alabama scored touchdowns on its next 8 possessions. But the Tide could never pull away because Ole Miss typically had an answer.

The score was tied at 14, 21, 28, 35 and 42.

Najee Harris’ 4th TD run put Alabama ahead for good at 49-42. Ole Miss closed within 49-45, but the Tide tacked on a final touchdown.

Mac Jones did his best to outpace the Ole Miss offense, finishing 28-for-32 for 417 yards and 2 touchdowns. He and running back Harris (206 yards, 5 touchdowns) were the offense.

Rebel quarterback Matt Corral was right there with them, finishing with 319 yards and 2 touchdowns, both of which went to Kenny Yeboah. Snoop Conner (128 yards, 2 TDs) and Jerrion Ealy (117 yards, 2 TDs) got it done on the ground.

The Rebels kept it close throughout.

They scored their first touchdown before a minute had even passed as Corrall connected with Yeboah for a 6-yard score. The teams traded touchdowns after that and Ole Miss entered halftime having never trailed, tied at 21.

The 2nd half was more of the same, with Alabama finally pulling ahead.

No. 2 Alabama gets a top 5 matchup next week when it faces Georgia, while Ole Miss will travel to play Arkansas.