Can Ole Miss upset Alabama? That’s the question of the moment since the No. 1 ranked Crimson Tide visits Oxford on Saturday for SEC West football action.
Ole Miss had upped its game with Alabama in recent years, claiming consecutive wins over the Crimson Tide in 2014 and 2015, but last season was a reality check for Rebels after 66-3 loss in Tuscaloosa that didn’t even look that close.
Nick Saban’s top-ranked Alabama team, last season’s national champion, is a three-touchdown favorite over Ole Miss. The Crimson Tide has won 75 consecutive games over unranked opponents. The Rebels have defensive problems, giving up 41 points at home to FCS division team Southern Illinois, but they can score some points behind quarterback Jordan Ta’amu. That’s why even though Alabama is a big favorite, there’s plenty of intrigue in this Oxford matchup to go around.
“They’re obviously a great team,” Ole Miss tight end Dawson Knox. “We want to come out and give them everything we have. We’re really excited about it, but we’re going to be ready.”
No. 1 Alabama vs. Ole Miss
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: ESPN
Live Streaming: WatchESPN.com
Odds: Alabama -21.5; over/under 71
Key Matchup (from the AP):
“The Ole Miss passing game against Alabama’s secondary. The Rebels have some of the most talented receivers in the nation with A.J. Brown, D.K. Metcalf and DaMarkus Lodge. They’ll go against an Alabama secondary that’s relatively young and inexperienced by the program’s high standards.”
Players to Watch (from the AP):
“Alabama: QB Tua Tagovailoa. The sophomore has looked fantastic through two games and hasn’t thrown an interception. Now he’ll try to keep that going on the road in a hostile environment.
“Ole Miss: RB Scottie Phillips. The junior college transfer has been an impact player through two games, running for 311 yards and four touchdowns in wins over Texas Tech and Southern Illinois. He’s averaging 10 yards per carry.”
Ole Miss coach Matt Luke said the Rebels aren’t thinking about last year’s 66-3 loss.
“I don’t think last year has any bearing on this year. Or us beating them two years in a row, I don’t think it has any bearing on this year,” Luke said, according to olemissports.com. “It’s our team from 2018 vs. their team from 2018. That’s the way you have to look at it. You can draw on the experiences when it comes to the tactical decisions, but as far as the players or the scores, you have to focus on this year.”