The Rebels have beaten Nick Saban twice in a row, what will it take to make a third time? Check out the Alabama vs. Ole Miss fearless prediction and game preview.
Alabama (2-0) vs. Ole Miss Game (1-1) Preview
Date: Saturday, September 17th
Game Time: 3:30 pm
Venue: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, MS
Why Alabama Will Win
The Crimson Tide defense might not be as talented as the 2015 version, and it’s going to be a bit overhyped over the first half of the season at times, but it’s stopped two teams that could end up winning their respective conference championships dead cold.
USC has four and five-star talents and a slew of skill guys as good as any in the country – it gained 64 rushing yards and averaged two yards per carry. WKU’s passing game puts food on the table, but it’s got a ground game, too – 22 carries, 23 yards.
The Alabama defensive line quickly reloaded, while the linebacking corps has been an absolute killer starting with a huge two games from Reuben Foster. Forget about the Wofford game – Ole Miss doesn’t have a running game, and it’s not going to gain more than 50 yards on the Tide D.
The biggest problem for the Ole Miss defense will be time logged in. The Wofford running game is designed for ball control, and Florida State is Florida State – so take the stats with a slight grain of salt, but the Rebels have had the ball an average of just under 21 minutes per game. Bama should be able to wear down the Ole Miss defense with a conservative gameplan that’s built around the fourth quarter more than the second.
The Crimson Tide will win the war of attrition.
Why Ole Miss Will Win
Jalen Hurts is a freshman, and Chad Kelly isn’t.
The whole freshman vs. senior quarterback thing didn’t work out so well for Ole Miss in the opener against Florida State, but it’s up to Hurts to handle a hostile SEC environment against a D that’ll be pumped up to a whole other level.
The Rebel pass rush has been just okay so far, but the line hasn’t had a problem getting into the backfield. Hurts isn’t going to run wild, and he’s going to have to prove he’s not going to make any big mistakes with the swarm that’s about to come his way.
The Ole Miss offense likes to speed things up, but it’s got the ability and potential to go on marches at times with the way Kelly converts third down conversion tries. He’s mobile – Alabama just doesn’t like quarterbacks who move – and helped the Rebels hit 63% of their tries so far. The game is on Kelly – he has to be able to pull off the performance he hit Bama with last season.
A year after getting torched by Johnny Manziel in 2012, and supposedly jacked up to stop him a year later, the former Aggie star cranked out 464 passing yards and five scores. Just because Alabama tries to stop a quarterback, that doesn’t guarantee it’s going to happen.
Kelly was magical in last year’s win over the Crimson Tide, throwing for 341 yards and three scores along with a rushing touchdown. He’ll have to do it again.
What’s Going To Happen?
Really? You think Nick Saban and Alabama will lose three in a row to the same team?
This has to be an ugly turnover-fest for the Crimson Tide to give this away, and if Hurts starts buckling and screwing up, it’s not out of the question. However, the Bama defense will get to Kelly as the game goes on, and the Ole Miss style of attack, attack, attack will hurt the D with way too many quick three-and-outs.
Alabama has been locked in over the first two weeks, and this week the defense will show why this really is the No. 1 team in the country with a brilliant day. The Rebel offense will go long, long stretches without going anywhere.
Alabama vs. Ole Miss Prediction
Final Score: Alabama 34, Ole Miss 16
Line: Alabama -10, o/u: COMING
ATS Confidence: 5: Vegas, Now – 1: Talk To Wife … 2
Must See Rating: 5: Hell or High Water – 1: This Is Us … 4.5