Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo MESPORTS SOUTH
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OXFORD,MISS– It’s been 6 years since the day Ole Miss drove ole Bama down in Oxford. I remember standing on the sidelines for pre-game and just felt it in my gut there was something about the impossible happening that day and by damn it did. Bo Wallace went down in history that afternoon along with that goal post as the Rebels defeated the Crimson.
Here we are things seem to come full circle and now Kiffin will meet hist mentor Nick Saban this evening under the lights at the Vaught. Today we have already seen a plethora of upsets in Week 6 of the college football season with the Rebels be able to do it again? It’s about time to summon the Holy Ghost to that gridiron battlefield and start sipping on a tallboy because it’s going to be some serious SEC Lights Out down in Mississippi tonight!
Game Notes: 6:30 PM CT, VAUGHT-HEMMINGWAY STADIUM, OXFORD, MS on ESPN
Should it be any surprise that the Tide is rolling into Oxford strong, stout, and undefeated? The Tide has been cooking up some huge problems on the outside. Expect to hear John Metchie name alot tonight. The Sophmore receiver had 2 TDS, with 5 catches and 181 yards last week. You can bet he is just getting started. The Tide has already shown just how difficult it will be to break through that front line to get to Mac Jones and just how versatile they can be with that backfield arsenal. Then on the Defense side of things, Saban has done a solid job of mixing up veteran LB Dylan Moses to lead the way with some explosive youngins in Will Anderson and Christian Harris. Once again Saban brings to Oxford one of the most balanced teams in college football and it’s going to be tough to roll on that as it stands.
The Rebs are coming off a down to the wire road win over the Kentucky Wildcats after the Cats Kicker, Matt Ruffalo missed the field goal in overtime. I wonder in fact what Kiffin will send him for Christmas? Kiffin’s offense has been dangerous especially with Matt Corral and Jerrion Ealy in that backfield for Ole Miss. Coral adjustment to being more willing to run with the ball has really helped open up the offense. You know the Rebels will be crying for Moore, Moore to take it to the house. Elijah Moore already has 319 receiving yards in just two games. Look for him to make even more moments in this one. But of course, the defense is like the plague its got more than issues. The Rebels rank last in the country in yards per play and total defense and 69th in opponent third-down conversion percentages. That tasted like vinegar in your mouth and how the heck is that any help when you have to face Alabama and Mac Jones. So outside the offense putting up a strong showing the special teams and the defense are going to have to one hell of a Come to Jesus that shows tonight. But it’s not impossible
Rapid & Roll
Nick Saban has a stack full of weapons on that offense and has shown just how versatile and quickly he can use his play and playmakers to get to take care of business in the endzone. The Tide may not run it up on Kiffin but you can be sure they’re going to come out like rapid-fire and looking to keep it a quick-moving game on the ground and in the air to ware out an already unstable defense. You can be sure Nicky will be dialing up all sorts of looks, especially with Najee Harris! Don’t be surprised if he pulls out a few from his own box of tricks to make it interesting.
Saban knows Kiffin is strong when it comes to designing offensive plays and the Rebels have those weapons. However, they haven’t faced a defensive front like the Tide. The Tide will need to contain and put pressure on Coral and cut off his receiving lifeline. Remember Coral is the 3rd most efficient passer in the country and if can connect even under sloppy weather conditions its going to put pressure on the Alabama secondary which has been a bit shaky.
Control & Close
The Rebels are a good ball club a much better one since Kiffin took the reigns but there are still a lot of little things that are not consistent. The Rebs will have to play a hell of a ball game which means they are going to have to start strong and finish stronger and that means that the defense and special teams are going to have to control and close when they have the opportunity.
The Rebs need to make big plays, big stops, and create turnovers. Saban brings a balance ball club that is not going to change but Kiffin has a strong football sense to be able to utilize what he has to be able to slow down even a team like everybody. However, it’s going to take alot of work to make it all come together. We all know that the Rebels have had a tough time being able to close. Tonight the Rebels need to create opportunities in the small and big battles. Take a chance on those 3rd and 4th down chances they will be the difference.
Bama will do Bama things but the Rebels will be able to hang with them. You can be sure we will see two strong offenses that will put in the work and you can be sure there will be passing for days that is electrifying from both the Tide and the Rebels. The Rebels will not be just a pushover for the Tide this go around and remember the weather will play into this one tonight so there are alot of those outside factors that will make this one interesting when it comes time to get to it. I think Ole Miss will play like we haven’t seen them yet and do some special stuff.
At the end of the day, Saban will go heavy on the run if the weather gets to play a strong factor and move quickly on the Rebels and let the talent speak for itself. As much as I think the Rebels have it in them to pull off the upset I just am not sure they have the luxury to be able to produce under these conditions quite enough to seal the deal against the Tide. Alabama rolls on the Rebels 38-36