Top-ranked Alabama opens SEC play at Ole Miss on Saturday with some questions to answer. Here are four of them:
1. Will the scoreboard explode?
The Crimson Tide and the Rebels have combined to score 231 points in four games so far. Alabama has scored more than 50 points in its first two games in a season for the first time since 1925. The Rebels also look potent on offense. This one could become a shootout.
2. Do both quarterbacks play?
Tua Tagovailoa has emerged as UA’s starter, but Jalen Hurts has also seen considerable playing time in both games so far. This is a conference game on the road, and Hurts has experience in hostile environments. Nick Saban, Alabama’s coach, may choose to utilize both talents or he could let Tua run the show.
3. Can Alabama cover the Rebels’ wideouts?
This is yet another test for Alabama’s young secondary. The Rebels will sling it around have talented receivers who will be hard to contain. A.J. Brown is averaging 125.5 receiving yards per game and 16.7 yards per catch with three touchdown receptions. Braylon Sanders is averaging 96.5 yard per game and a whopping 24.3 yards per catch. UA’s defensive backs will be tested.
4. What about the running game?
Alabama has gained 500 yards on the ground in two games and has a stable of capable backs. Even so, the Crimson Tide’s rushing attack has been inconsistent so far. This would be a good spot for Damien Harris, Najee Harris and Josh Jacobs to get things going. UA’s offensive line hasn’t put it all together yet.