Every Alabama fan has been waiting for this moment for a year’s time. For the very first time, the Ole Miss Rebels have won over the Alabama Crimson Tide for two straight years. They were the talk of college football after those wins. And when Alabama went on to lose to nobody else, those performances by Ole Miss became all the more convincing.
But there will be no three-peat. Probability says that Alabama will lose sometime*. But not this week.
*Auburn because they seem to do it every three years and/or in the playoffs against either Ohio State or Michigan. Those are probably our hardest games.
Why don’t I see Ole Miss beating us this time? Our offense seems better and their defense is as bad or worse as the one that hindered their success in the past. You can’t squander a 22-point lead in your first game and expect everybody to be in awe of you. I don’t care if it was to Florida State. When you go up by two touchdowns, the live oddsmaking computer models have your chances of winning going through the roof, no matter what the odds were before the game! So while Hugh Freeze is an undeniably great coach (65-26, 4-1 in Bowls), I doubt that he has turned the Rebels into a true championship program just yet.
What’s the problem? Defense. While their pass rush is alright, their secondary is a nightmare! Well, a nightmare for them, not Alabama nation! You can’t just allow multiple scores in succession and be proud when you get your precious sack or turnover. That’s just not gonna work. Only Ole Miss could score 52 points in one game last season and still lose! With 45 allowed to Florida State and incredible rushing yards allowed to Wofford, I see nothing different about this defense.
And despite the awesomeness of the Chad Kelly-run offense, Ole Miss does not have a consistent run game. You might know that this tremendously limits the scope of your playbook and was second only to their secondary in causing their second half collapse against Florida State and two of the three 2015 losses, including the Florida Gators blowout, that took the Rebels out of playoff contention. What you might not realize is that no run game equals no clock management and a limited ability to wear out the opposing defense.
Over the last two or three years, we’ve had a kind of similar problem: difficulty in racking up points because we had a shaky quarterback situation. But with the way Jalen Hurts has stepped up, that looks to be changing. 4 touchdowns in two games! It’s going to be 6-9 after Saturday. We’ll run, we’ll pass, we’ll blaze Ole Miss’ flawed defense, and Chad Kelly will have to make snap judgments all the time because he’s gonna have to pass a lot against a lethal defensive line. And that leads to an outcome similar to what you saw two Monday nights ago. ROLL TIDE!!!