There should be plenty of fireworks on Saturday when the Ole Miss Rebels take on the Alabama Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa. Is this the game that Nick Saban finally loses to one of his former assistant coaches?
Oddsmakers don’t seem to think so as Bama is currently listed as a 14.5 point favorite at most online sportsbooks. The point total is currently at 79.5 so there should be plenty of scoring excitement to go around. Here’s a closer look at each team on both sides of the ball as well as our Best Bet for this iconic SEC West rivalry.
Ole Miss Offense vs. Alabama Defense
Though his brashness rubs some folks the wrong way, Lane Kiffin is a genius when it comes to running an offense. We all know that Kiffin will have more than a few trick plays up his sleeve to try and frustrate the Bama defense. Ole Miss QB Matt Corral has the dynamic playmaking ability to keep the Rebels in this ball game.
Corral is currently one of the early favorites to win the Heisman because of his rare ability to hurt defenses with both his arm and his legs. The 6-foot 200-pound junior has thrown nine touchdowns and ran for five scores as well. Kiffin knows that the Bama defense often struggles with mobile quarterbacks so expect him to call plenty of options and QB draws.
The Crimson Tide defense has only allowed 17.5 points per game but hasn’t quite lived up to the hype of being one of the best units in the nation. Giving up 29 points to Florida a couple of weeks ago is a definite concern. Defensive coordinator Pete Golding has got to find more ways to pressure the QB, as this unit only has six sacks this season.
Alabama Offense vs. Ole Miss Defense
QB Bryce Young looks to be as good as advertised and he could cause a world of problems for this Ole Miss defense. Young, like Corral, is also an early favorite for the Heisman due to this innate ability to keep calm during a pass rush. The California native has thrown 15 touchdowns and just one interception so far this season. Look for Young to keep getting the ball to WR Jameson Williams, the fastest player on the Bama roster.
The Rebels’ defense looks to be much improved over last year’s bunch but they’re still a major question mark. They’re only giving up 20.7 points per game but their toughest opponent so far has been Louisville. The Tide offensive line better think about double-teaming Sam Williams, a stud pass rusher who already has four sacks (Sports-Reference.com).
Our Pick: Ole Miss +14.5
We think Alabama wins this ball game, but giving a great offense like Ole Miss over two touchdowns is far too generous in our book. The Crimson Tide defense has far too many holes and the defensive backs tend to shoot themselves in the foot with plenty of pass interference penalties. We like the Rebels to keep this game close the entire way. Take the points and good luck!