The top-ranked Alabama football team came into Saturday’s game against Ole Miss at Bryant-Denny Stadium cruising along with an undefeated record, but the Crimson Tide still had questions to answer. Here are four of them:
1. Will the Crimson Tide get off to a fast start?
Through four games, Alabama had outscored its opponents 55-3 in the first quarter. UA didn’t score on its opening possession, but got going after that and powered its way to a 21-3 edge by the end of the first quarter for another fast start.
2. Who will win time of possession?
The Rebels like to run an up-tempo attack and wear down the opponent. Alabama got defensive stops to get off the field, holding Ole Miss to 0 for 13 on third down conversion, and moved steadily on the ground and through the air. UA held onto the ball for 36:32, with Ole Miss running just 55 total offensive plays.
3. How will the pass defense hold up?
Shea Patterson, Ole Miss’ sophomore quarterback, came in completing better than 70 percent of his attempts and ranked second nationally with an average of 427 passing yards per game. Alabama held him to 165 yards through the air on 14 of 29 passing with two interceptions.
4. What kind of game will Jalen Hurts have?
Alabama’s sophomore quarterback came in averaging 227.5 yards in total offense per game. He left in the third quarter with UA well ahead but still put up nearly 300 combined running and passing yards. He completed 12 of 19 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 101 yards on 10 carries, adding another score in a dominant performance.