Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Crimson Crossover: Rebels pose threat to Tide

Ole Miss - 2013

Record: 3-0
Conference Record: 1-0 (SEC - Western Division)
Last Game: Ole Miss 44 Texas 23

Alabama - 2013

Record: 3-0
Conference Record: 1-0 (SEC - Western Division)
Last Game: Alabama 31 Colorado State 6

History lesson

Series: Alabama leads series 46-9-2 (First meeting in 1894)
Most Recent Meeting: Alabama 33 Ole Miss 14 (2012)

Setting the scene

Ole Miss vs. Alabama
Bryant-Denny Stadium – Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Betting Line: Alabama -15.5 (as of 9/24)


Beat writer of the week

Hugh Kellenberger - Ole Miss beat writer for the Jackson Clarion-Ledger.

Twitter: @HkellenbergerCL

Follow Hugh via Twitter to get the latest (breaking) news concerning the Ole Miss Rebels as they prepare for Alabama.

Ole Miss on the wire

>>Wallace says Rebels receivers better than Aggies, offense can score on Bama (with video)

>>Denzel Nkemdiche is going to give it a go, other injury news

>>Notes: Rebels looking to eliminate what-ifs

>>Ole Miss relishes shot at top-ranked Alabama

>>Donte Moncrief studying Mike Evans in prep for Bama (with video)

The weekly quotable

Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze is anxious to “measure” his squad against the top-ranked Crimson Tide.
The Crimson Elephant verdict

Ole Miss is a good team…Alabama is a mystery.

With consistency issues over the course of the first three games, the Crimson Tide have all the makings of a blind date. Which Tide team takes the field on any given Saturday is the equivalent of the stranger (date) behind the door. What happens over the course of the next three or four hours, on the field, is a mystery.

Is Alabama really the No. 1 team in the nation, or simply a confused group of underachievers destined for the Capital One Bowl?

Tide fans are yearning for the ultimate “complete game” that will calm the “cliff dwellers” and give new life and confidence to a seemingly unpredictable squad.
As for this week’s blind date…she goes by the name of Ole Miss. In terms of the “dating mystery,” the Rebels are all about high-octane. Mystery solved!

Bo Wallace is a solid quarterback and he has an excellent supporting cast of receivers and rushers to put points on the board. Freshman wide receiver Laquon Treadwell has bloomed into one of the best players in the SEC and his contributions to the Rebel offense will only increase as the season progresses.

Defensively, the name of the game is Nkemdiche. Denzel and Robert Nkemdiche are stellar at the defensive end and linebacker positions. Denzel, the eldest brother, is expected to return to action in time for the contest with Alabama after being sidelined due to a knee injury that required surgery. While the Rebels aren’t an “iron curtain” on defense, they certainly have the talent to confuse an often scatterbrained Alabama offense.

Saturday night will be a “proving ground” for both Ole Miss and Alabama. Ideally, Ole Miss, the “good team,” will get a taste of the No. 1 program in the nation and be sent flailing back to earth. However, this game could be Ole Miss’ coming out party, and Alabama could be the team left searching for answers after a loss.

One can’t predict weekly improvement, one can only predict based on what has been seen. Under that logic, what has been seen has been a rather ugly picture for Tuscaloosa's crown jewel.

Expect the Crimson Tide to defeat Ole Miss and improve to 4-0 on the season, but also expect UA fans to leave Bryant-Denny...still wondering what's wrong with Alabama.

Alabama 34
Ole Miss 24

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