OLE MISS AT ALABAMA
Kickoff: 8:15 p.m. ET/5:15 p.m. PT
Las Vegas Line: Alabama -7
You’ve probably heard or read the following at some point in the build-up to Ole Miss-Alabama: The Rebels have won just 10 over the Crimson Tide, never taken back-to-back games in the series’ 59-game history.
Ole Miss’ last — and only — win in Tuscaloosa was a 22-12 decision in 1988.
A quick history lesson: Ole Miss and Alabama didn’t play from 1944 to 1964. In that time, the Rebels won three national championships (1959, 1960, 1962).
Why all this talk of the past? Because it’s pertinent to the series’ immediate future. More specifically, the most recent bit of past will shine through in the 60th Alabama-Ole Miss game.
The Rebels bested the Crimson Tide last season with a hard-hitting effort from the defensive front, bottling up the Crimson Tide for 3.8 yards per rush.
Ole Miss’ front seven is more experienced than a year ago, with DeMarquis Gates, Tayler Polk, Fadol Brown and the Nkemdiche Bros. all another season more seasoned.
The Rebels also added Breeland Speaks and Garrald McDowell, a pair of talented freshmen.
Another new addition, quarterback Chad Kelly, blew up in a pair of games in which the Rebels exceeded 70 points. Those basketball-like scores have zero bearing on Saturday’s contest, as the UT-Martin and Fresno State defenses look nothing like Alabama’s.
The Crimson Tide front seven is just as stout and physically imposing as that of Ole Miss; with A’Shawn Robinson up front and Reggie Ragland at linebacker, some might argue more so.
That debate may be settled by Week 3’s end, but its not play in the front seven I expect to settle this one. My questions about the Alabama secondary linger, particularly with three freshmen having to play as a result of injuries.
Last year, star Ole Miss wide receiver Laquon Treadwell got loose for an integral touchdown in the Rebel win. Recent history repeats itself: Treadwell makes a big play on the Alabama secondary. Ancient history is shattered: Ole Miss wins its first back-to-back games over the Crimson Tide.