The top-ranked Alabama football team trampled Vanderbilt in its first true road game, but still has questions to answer at home this weekend against Ole Miss. Here are four of them:
Will the Crimson Tide get off to a fast start?
Through four games, Alabama has outscored its opponents 55-3 in the first quarter. UA has scored on its first or second possession each time out. Playing a nighttime game at home, Alabama would do well to set the tone with another quick start against the Rebels to get the crowd involved.
Who will win time of possession?
Keeping the Ole Miss offense on the sideline will be an objective for the Crimson Tide. UA has held the ball for 33:08 minutes on average thus far and would like to have an even bigger edge this time out. To do so, Alabama will need to convert first downs and get the ground game going.
How will the pass defense hold up?
Shea Patterson, Ole Miss’ sophomore quarterback, is completing better than 70 percent of his attempts and ranks second nationally with an average of 427 passing yards per game. UA’s pass defense rates 30th in the country, yielding 177.8 yards through the air on average. That’s solid, but not quite up to Crimson Tide pass defenses of recent vintage. Patterson is the best passer UA will have faced so far.
What kind of game will Jalen Hurts have?
Alabama’s sophomore quarterback averages 227.5 yards in total offense per game, with 90 yards per game coming on the ground. A true dual threat, he’s tied for fifth in rushing in the SEC as the only quarterback to crack the top five. If Ole Miss gets Alabama into a shootout, he’ll need to produce as a passer and a runner.