Eleventh-ranked Alabama used a fumble recovery and an intercepted pass to set up first-half touchdown runs by Jeff Fagan and Linnie Patrick, defeating Mississippi, 38-7, in Tuscaloosa, Ala., yesterday, giving Bear Bryant his 310th coaching victory and keeping two long winning streaks intact.
Fagan's 10-year run started the scoring midway through the first period, seven plays after Alabama noseguar Warren Lyles stripped the football from quarterback John Fourcade as he dropped back to pass and end Russ Wood recovered at the Tide 45.
Patrick went a yard for the second touchdown at 5:47 of the second quarter, three plays after a Fourcade pass bounced off the hands of tight end Steve Dearie and was caught by cornerback Jeremiah Castille, who ran 29 yards to the Mississippi 23.
Peter Kim kicked a 25-yard field goal 5 1/2 minutes later for a 17-0 halftime lead and Alabama (4-1) went on to its 53rd consecutive triumph at Bryant-Denny Stadium -- the Crimson Tide hasn't lost in Tuscaloosa since Oct. 12, 1963 -- and Bryant's 28th straight victory over one of his former players or coaches.
The game did not count in the Southeastern Conference standings since Alabama and Ole Miss (3-2) play seven SEC rivals, one more than the other members of the conference. Ole Miss Coach Steve Sloan, who played at Alabama under Bryant from 1963-65, has lost all four meetings with his former coach.
The Crimson Tide didn't need any turnover help in the third quarter, running its wishbone offense with precision under the direction of Ken Coley and Walter Lewis, who replaced Coley when the starting quarterback was injured. Alabama drove 91 yards in 15 plays, all on the ground, with Lewis scoring on a seven-yard keeper, then went 87 yards in nine plays with Lewis passing 26 yards to Darryl White for a touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Mississippi finally scored on Arthur Humphrey's 26-yard run with 2:16 remaining.