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 for an Alabama Crimson Tide 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. Saban is another coach in the SEC that will be earning his paycheck this week. He has to get the Crimson Tide up for this one because if they are not, then Ole Miss has more than enough to make it three defeats in four.
Bryce Young Takes Over
Alabama can and will run the ball on this Ole Miss defense. What this team needs, however, is for the wide receivers to step up and help quarterback Bryce Young. There have been way too many dropped balls and routes not run to completion. Young has been doing his part, and against the fifth-worst passing defense in SEC play – the Rebels allow 222.2 yards per game through the air – Young has the skills to go off.
Take Away Tempo
Ole Miss wants to play this game at their pace. They want to attack with the run to set up something deep downfield, and they will be looking to force early turnovers and get the crowd roaring in their favor by getting on top of ‘Bama quickly. The best way to beat a team looking to tempo you is to control the clock and the pace at which the game is played. Alabama can play fast too, but it doesn’t need to fall into a contest where drives are all tempo. That plays right into the hands of the Rebels.
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.