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Alabama vs. Ole Miss Football Prediction and Preview

Alabama vs. Ole Miss Football Prediction and Preview

Alabama vs. Ole Miss Football Prediction and Preview

If you like speed, this could be your football version of "if you blink you'll miss something." Despite their southern locales, Alabama and Ole Miss aren't pickup trucks, they are Ferraris on the field when it comes to offense.

The Crimson Tide are averaging 45 points per game while the Rebels put up 38.5. But the big problem is that the Rebel defenders are second-to-last in the country on the side of the equation, giving up an average of 46 points a game. That's a big red flag. The Tide is a perfect 2-0, breezing by Missouri and Texas A&M and the Rebels are 1-1, having barely escaped Kentucky with a one-point win in overtime.

And as you guys have probably heard ad nauseam, Nick Saban is still unbeaten in matchups with his ex-assistants, sitting at a perfect 20-0. Wanna bet that it gets to 21?

Alabama at Ole Miss

Kickoff: Saturday, Oct. 10 at 7:30 p.m. ET


Spread: Alabama -24

When Alabama Has the Ball

Why no Heisman buzz for Mac Jones? Okay it's early, I know. But for all the hype that K.J. Costello, Kyle Trask or even Stetson Bennett have received, it's worth noting that Jones is quarterback that is leading the nation in passing efficiency (221.1) and yards per completion (18.0), having gone 38-of-51 for 684 yards and six touchdowns. He's even better when it counts, going 7-for-9 in the red zone, where the Crimson Tide have scored on nine of 10 opportunities so far, seven of those being touchdowns.

Be more grounded. Alabama was out-rushed by Texas A&M 115 to 109 and that is part of the reason the Aggies held onto the ball for a staggering 37:42 of the game. Najee Harris ran for just 43 yards and his longest run was six measly yards. Of course it doesn't help that three of their TDs were long bombs too, we get that. But with the O-line they've got the Tide should be controlling the clock with some meat-grinding runs. By the way, Ole Miss has given up a sieve-like 604 yards on the ground in two games.

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Can Ole Miss stop anything? The Rebels gave up 51 points to Florida and 41 points to Kentucky. And we all know how good Alabama's offense looked against A&M and this is probably the best offense the Rebels will face this season. So what are we thinking? Will the Tide be held under 70 points? Will the Rebels tackle better? Schematic discipline will be paramount for the Rebels, but unless turnovers become an issue, the difference-making talent on Bama's offense means Nick Saban's charges can probably name their score.

When Ole Miss Has the Ball

What the hey, rear back and heave it. Though the game was never in question from the middle of the second quarter onward it is worth noting that Kellen Mond threw for 318 yards and three touchdowns against Alabama. With the skill players that surround him, you have to like the chances of Rebels signal-caller Matt Corral, who is third in the FBS in passing efficiency. Corral has been deadly accurate so far, missing on just 14 of his 60 passes, and nearly half of those were drops.

The O-line needs to step up. The big hogs up front for Ole Miss are an experienced group and have done a pretty good job of keeping Corral vertical, suffering just three sacks so far. But in the running game, the Rebels have averaged just 3.6 yards per carry while their opponents average a hearty 7.1 yards per carry. Obviously the uber-talented Bama front seven will be their biggest test this season. Ole Miss loves to go up-tempo, so also keep an eye on their fatigue in the third and fourth quarter.

Clean up the blown assignments. Texas A&M didn't exactly play mano-a-mano with the Tide but was able to tie them up 14-all in the second quarter. The Aggies were able to move the ball on the ground, the Tide had some tackling issues and there were two blown assignments in the defensive backfield which led to their two scores. With Patrick Surtain being the lone returning starter, there is a ton of youth in Alabama's defensive backfield. Ole Miss' Elijah Moore is what head coach Lane Kiffin calls "an elite slot receiver" and could add significantly to his 20 catches and 319 yards.

Final Analysis

High-flying offenses are sexy, sell tickets and can be a whole lotta fun to watch. That's what this one will show, for sure. It should be basketball on grass. These two offenses are electric, with a handful of future NFL stars and they should put on a great show.

The Crimson Tide certainly have the chance to be the more effective defense, which is what gives them the decided edge.

Prediction: Alabama 56, Ole Miss 38

Podcast: Week 6 Preview and Predictions

— Written by Eric Sorenson, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. He is a college football, college baseball and college hockey addict... and writer. Follow him on Twitter @Stitch_Head.