3 things to know going into Alabama football's trip to Ole Miss

Brett Hudson
Tide Sports

The second of four straight games pitting Nick Saban against former assistants comes Saturday, Alabama visits Ole Miss, coached by former Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.

Here are three things to know going into Alabama’s third game of the season, its first on the road against an SEC West opponent.

Plum-less attack

Last year’s game in Tuscaloosa was a breakout moment for Ole Miss quarterback John Rhys Plumlee. He ran 25 times for 109 yards and a touchdown while throwing for 141 yards. He would go on to run for 100 or more in four of the next six games and finish eighth in the SEC in rushing yards as a freshman quarterback, despite not playing in the first three games of the season.

His 2020 season has not followed suit.

With Matt Corral manning a more pass-oriented offense, Plumlee has just 26 yards of offense through two games: one catch for 6 yards and nine carries for 20 yards. Plumlee proved his ability to make plays against excellent defenses last year; there’s no guarantee he will have many opportunities to do so, based on his usage through two games.

Najee Harris nears top 10

Alabama running back Najee Harris is 127 yards away from tying Dennis Riddle for 10th in school history with 2,645 career rushing yards. From there, Harris could move up the ranks quickly.

After matching Riddle’s output, Harris would be just 96 yards shy of tying Johnny Musso for ninth in school history with 2,741 yards. The next 600 yards would move him past Damien Harris, Trent Richardson, Mark Ingram, T.J. Yeldon and Kenneth Darby up to fourth, then just 77 yards away from Bobby Humphrey’s place in third.

The shortened season could take away Harris’ chance at breaking Derrick Henry’s school record of 3,591 career yards, but Harris can begin his climb up the top 10 in school history starting Saturday. 

No fly zone

Mississippi quarterback Matt Corral (2) passes against Arkansas during the first half of their NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in Oxford, Miss.

Alabama has racked up five interceptions on the Rebels in their last three meetings, returning those interceptions for a total of 172 yards and two touchdowns.

Corral was not responsible for any of those interceptions and generally has been safe with the ball: he’s thrown five interceptions over 260 attempts. Hurricane Delta could ground the passing attacks as a whole, but if both teams are able to let it fly, the Rebels doing so without an interception would be a change of pace.

Reach Brett Hudson at 205-722-0196 or or via Twitter, @Brett_Hudson