The Crimson Tide begin conference play on the road Saturday against Ole Miss. This will be the third year in a row that the Tide have opened SEC play on the road. This will also be the third time in four years that Alabama has opened SEC play with Ole Miss.
The last time these two opened up against one another, the Rebels blew a 24-3 lead as Alabama won 48-43. The Tide enter this game as a heavy favorite while Ole Miss is just dangerous enough to pressure a young Alabama secondary and keep this close.
Here are the major storylines heading into the game.
The Rebels offense is dangerous
We all knew how good the Rebels’ passing game was going to be with quarterback Jordan Ta’Amu throwing to A.J. Brown and D.K. Metcalf. It’s been so much more than that.
The Rebels have two more receivers who should join Brown with over 200 yards receiving for the season after this game in Metcalf and Braylon Sanders. Four different receivers already have touchdown receptions as well. Add to that a running back, Scottie Phillips, who has over three-hundred yards rushing and four touchdowns on the season.
The Rebels can put up points. In two games, Ole Miss has scored 47, and 76. Add to that an Alabama defense still trying to figure it out in the secondary and you’ve got a recipe for points.
Alabama’s defense will be so everyone better know where they are supposed to be. Both Louisville and Arkansas State had opportunities to score against Alabama and failed to do so. Giving this offense any extra time to be on the field would be a mistake.
The Rebels defense is the opposite of dangerous
For as good as Ole Miss has been on offense, they’ve been equally as bad on defense. The Rebels are giving up an average of 34 points per game and have faced Texas Tech and FCS Southern Illinois. The defense can’t stop anyone from doing anything so the menu is wide open for Alabama offensive coordinator Mike Locksley.
If there is a silver lining for the Rebels, teams have had early success pressuring Alabama’s quarterbacks. If Ole Miss is going to have a shot at pulling an upset it is going to have to get to the quarterback and generate turnovers.
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