It’s one of the best college football weekends of the season with numerous ranked teams taking on other ranked teams. Week 1 of this college football season was perhaps the best college football weekend of all time, but this weekend is not too far behind. Games like Ohio State @ Oklahoma, Michigan State @ Notre Dame, USC @ Stanford, Florida State @ Louisville and of course Alabama @ Ole Miss.
Perhaps somewhat mystifyingly, Ole Miss has won two in a row against Alabama (though neither mattered in the grand scheme of that season as the Tide went on to make the College Football Playoff each season). In 2014 it was a close game with neither team forcing much separation until Bama fumbled a kickoff return in the 4th quarter. Last year, the Tide turned it over five times and still almost won, but that game will forever be remembered for the crazy touchdown reception by Ole Miss WR Quincy Adeboyejo. This year Ole Miss has to replace a ton of talent all over, but it is more of a reload than a rebuild. Most importantly they get Chad Kelly back along with Adeboyejo and TE Evan Engram. Kelly was good in the first half against Florida State, as was the rest of the team, but it all went completely off the rails in the second half. The Rebels cannot afford to have that happen against the Tide if they want to stay in the Playoff picture.
Alabama comes into this game riding a 14 game winning streak (their last loss was against Ole Miss last year) but don’t tell that to Nick Saban. Saban is notorious for not always being happy with a big win and last Saturday’s 28 point win over Western Kentucky was no different. Saban said he has never been so disappointed after a win and that he was embarrassed that he didn’t do a better job for the team. That, combined with the fact that he’s lost two in a row to Hugh Freeze, is why many experts are picking Alabama to not only beat Ole Miss, but to do so impressively. Their quarterback situation seemed to be resolved after their blowout win over USC, but that became unsettled last week as both Jalen Hurts and Cooper Bateman were unimpressive against the Hilltoppers. That being said, Alabama’s strength is once again its defense which is giving up an average of 8 points per game to this point in the season.
- This is the first time since 2013 that the Ole Miss/Alabama game has not been the feature game for ESPN’s College GameDay.
- The last two meetings are the first time in series history that Ole Miss has won two in a row against Alabama.
- Hugh Freeze is 2-2 against Nick Saban, the only coach in the SEC whom Saban does not have a winning record against (with the exceptions of Derek Mason, Kirby Smart and Barry Odom, none of whom Saban has coached against yet).
Vaught-Hemingway Stadium – Oxford, MS
Alabama leads 48-11-2
Bryant-Denny Stadium – Tuscaloosa, AL
Ole Miss 43
Current AP Raking
Ole Miss: 19
Next Games Up
Alabama vs. Kent State
Ole Miss vs. Georgia