The best matchup in the SEC this week sees the No. 10 Alabama Crimson Tide (7-2) look to bounce back from their defeat at the hands of LSU last time out as they take on the No. 11 Ole Miss Rebels (8-1).
By Steve Wright
Here are the three keys to an Ole Miss win:
Bring the Energy
This is a weird spot for Alabama and Nick Saban. Alabama is always in the running for the SEC Title and the College Football Playoff at this point in the season, but in 2022 that ship has (likely) sailed. They have lost two of three, and even in their wins on the road – against Texas and Arkansas – this just hasn’t been anything close to vintage ‘Bama. This is a great spot for the Rebels to catch Alabama in. When it comes to things to play for, there is much more on the line for Ole Miss in this matchup. Lane Kiffin needs to bring the energy, and the players will feed off of the home crowd in Oxford.
Bomb on Alabama
Kiffin knows Saban as well as anybody. Kiffin has also had a week off to formulate a plan to beat Alabama. He needs to go the route of Malik Hooker and Tennessee, bombing away on a ‘Bama secondary vulnerable to the deep pass and giving away a raft of bad penalties when they are worried about being beaten deep. Jonathan Mingo has 30 catches for 665 yards and four touchdowns on the season, while Malik heath has almost 500 yards on his 32 catches and three scores. If they can get going, ‘Bama is in trouble.
Dictate the Game
Ole Miss needs to dictate how this game is played. They are at their best when they can tempo teams, scoring quickly and using that running game to set up something through the air. Getting into Alabama early is important, as is winning the turnover battle. If the Rebels can create some chaos early – a turnover or a big special teams play – then their chances of winning increase dramatically as it feels like they have to play this from the front.
Saturday‘s game kicks off at 2:00 PM CT (3:00 PM ET). You can watch this SEC football game on the CBS Network.