OXFORD, Miss. — Alabama linebacker Ryan Anderson has always made fun of defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne in a playful way.
Anderson routinely teases Payne for his size. Payne is known as a run stopper for Alabama, but the 6-foot-2, 320-pound defensive tackle showed off his quick hands and athleticism with a touchdown in Alabama’s 48-43 win over Ole Miss.
“I was excited. Then I sat there and thought about it because I’m going to have to hear about that one,” Anderson said, laughing. “I always say he ain’t athletic. When we go out there on third down in our dime rabbits, I mess with him like ‘get off the field. Fat boys off the field’ and stuff like that. I can’t say too much now that he’s scored a touchdown.”
Payne’s touchdown play was set up by Anderson’s strip-sack on Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly early in the second quarter. Anderson said he was initially playing a run play, but once he noticed no one was there to protect Kelly, he “turned on the juice and ran him down.”
Anderson called it a coverage sack, and credited the Crimson Tide’s defensive backs for sticking with Ole Miss’ receivers.
Payne bent down, scooped the ball and rumbled in for the 6-yard score. Payne stretched his left arm and the ball over the line as an Ole Miss offensive lineman jumped on his back.
Ryan Anderson strip sack, Payne recovery leads to a sad Ole Miss fan pic.twitter.com/dQnl7K2VTf
— Chris Kirschner (@ChrisKirschner) September 17, 2016
Payne wasn’t the only Alabama defensive lineman to make it to the endzone. Late in the fourth quarter, Kelly threw an interception right into the hands of Alabama senior Jonathan Allen. Allen took the gift 75 yards the other way for the score to extend Alabama’s lead.
Allen was escorted into the endzone by three teammates. It was the first interception and touchdown of Allen’s career. Allen had the presence of mind to protect the ball as an Ole Miss receiver ran up behind him.
“I was just trying to wrap inside and then I got my head up and the ball just happened to bounce my way,” Allen said. “Thank God for my teammates blocking for me. They’re the ones that really allowed me to get to the endzone and I have to give them a lot of credit.”
— BamaVine (@BamaVine) September 17, 2016