The Alabama Crimson Tide have raced out to a (4-0) start against a relatively easy schedule. Now the Crimson Tide will explore what life is like on the road for the first time this season. That means it’s Blake Sims first chance to get a high quality win away from home. He’ll have to do it in front of a hostile crowd, with ESPN’s College Game Day on hand.
The Ole Miss Rebels have been leading up to this opportunity for quite awhile. Even though the Rebels are playing in the SEC West, every goal is attainable for Ole Miss. In similar fashion to Alabama, Ole Miss has a top five defense, and their tenacity has been evident in every win thus far.
No.1 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. No.11 Ole Miss Rebels
When: Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014 3:30 p.m.
Where: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium
Coming into the season, Bo Wallace felt slighted by his ranking as one of the top SEC quarterbacks. That’s partly why his play has been erratic at best. Wallace is completing 71 percent of his passes, but he also has six interceptions to go with his 11 touchdowns. There’s a feeling that Bo was trying to prove his greatness early in the season. He can’t afford to turn the ball over against the opportunistic Crimson Tide.
Where Alabama differs from previous years is on the offensive end. The Crimson Tide usually dominates their opponent with the running game. This season, Sims has come through with a prolific passing game. Currently, Alabama has the 11th ranked passing offense in the nation. The main target for Blake Sims is Amari Cooper. The do-it-all wide receiver has 43 catches and five touchdowns in the first four games. Whether it’s the deep ball, bubble screens or intermediate routes, Alabama will find a way to get the ball to Cooper.
Ole Miss hasn’t given up more than 15 points in game this season. They’ve been dominant, and they plan to smack around the Alabama offense from the opening kick. The Rebels only give up 114 yards per game on the ground. Their might will be tested by the likes of T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry.
Although both running backs are the mainstays in the backfield, it’s Kenyan Drake who has been the most explosive out of the trio. Drake has leads the team with six total touchdowns, and he has become a match up nightmare for most opponents.
Last season, Alabama rolled over Ole Miss in a 25-0 shutout. Hugh Freeze decided not to kick field goals to get points on the board. For Ole Miss to have a chance, they must score early. Otherwise, the pressure to crack Alabama’s defense will mount, especially if the Tide are rolling offensively. However, this game should come down to the final minutes.
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