By Tommy Deas
Ole Miss quarterback Shea Patterson leads the SEC in passing at more than 400 yards per game, but the Rebels don’t have balance in the running game. Alabama found its footing in the ground game last week, and Jalen Hurts is a game-breaker.
Alabama is starting to look like its old self defensively with the return of Rashaan Evans and others back from injury, but he Crimson Tide still needs to improve its pass rush. Ole Miss ranks ninth in the league in total defense.
Ole Miss transfer Andy Pappanastos has made 8 of 10 field goal attempts for Alabama, and JK Scott is a weapon. The return game hasn’t produced results for UA, while Ole Miss has a threat in Jaylon Jones.
Alabama is No. 1 yet again under Nick Saban, and no other coach in college football has a resume to match. Ole Miss had a sudden change in the offseason, with Matt Luke getting a battlefield promotion to interim head coach.
With a self-imposed bowl ban and heavier NCAA sanctions possibly on the horizon, the long-term outlook isn’t good for the Rebels. Alabama is aiming for another national championship trophy and is starting to look like a team that can win it all.
Alabama 41, Ole Miss 10
This Ole Miss team lacks the quality in the trenches that the Rebels have had in recent years, although the passing game is still strong. Alabama’s offense is starting to emerge, and the defense is looking formidable again.
Alabama 42, Ole Miss 7
Wow. No one on staff even came close to predicting what would transpire against Vanderbilt. From this point forward, until anyone can prove otherwise, I won’t be guessing any double digit points for Alabama’s opponents. Ole Miss gets one score late in the game. And that’s all she wrote.
Alabama 42, Ole Miss 16
I don’t see Alabama’s shutout performance last Saturday happening against the Rebels. However, Ole Miss certainly has the attention of Nick Saban and company. The bounces land in the hands of Alabama’s defense this time around and the Crimson Tide gets another statement win.
Alabama 35, Ole Miss 17
Ole Miss has been quiet all week. Too quiet, Nick Saban thinks. So perhaps they know something. Or saw what happened to Vanderbilt. Either way, the Rebs usually come up with something — but depth is an issue.
Alabama 34, Ole Miss 21
The line on this game is somewhere near four touchdowns. That reflects the public perception of where Alabama is after its win over Vanderbilt. I think the reality of where Alabama stands is closer to this score.
Alabama 37, Ole Miss 17
The Crimson Tide showed what it can accomplish when it comes out focused. The intensity might not be as high as last week’s Vanderbilt thrashing, but Alabama still remembers how difficult the Rebels have been to deal with the last three years.
Alabama 32, Ole Miss 10
The Rebels will give the Crimson Tide a good fight with its passing game. The run game? No chance. Ole Miss averages about 70 yards a game, and that won’t get it done against Alabama. Ole Miss QB Shea Patterson will have to play perfect for the Rebels to have a shot.
Alabama 35, Ole Miss 17
Ole Miss will get its chunk plays through the air. But the Rebels can’t run the ball and can’t stop the run. That’s a bad combination against Alabama.
Alabama 35, Ole Miss 14
Ole Miss has the No. 1 pass offense in the SEC right now – statistically. OK, but Vanderbilt had the No. 1 pass defense last week – statistically. Don’t expect the Rebels to live up to that standard, just like the Commodores didn’t.
Alabama 38, Ole Miss 30
Matt Luke has said this week Ole Miss’ plan to win is to stop Alabama from rushing the ball by forcing the Tide to throw it. Jalen Hurts has a tendency to run the ball so I anticipate he will feel pressure in the pocket a lot more than usual.