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#1 Alabama hosts Ole Miss on Saturday
By: Staff Writer - StatFox
Published: 9/26/2017  at  8:57:00 PM
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OLE MISS REBELS (2-1)
at ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE (4-0)

Bryant-Denny Stadium – Tuscaloosa, AL
Kickoff: Saturday, 9:00 p.m. ET
Line: Alabama -27.5, Total: 59.0

#1 Alabama will be looking to improve to 5-0 with a home victory over Ole Miss on Saturday.

The Rebels are off to a pretty rough start this season, as they are just 2-1 and most recently lost 27-16 as 4.5-point favorites against Cal. Ole Miss has now failed to cover in all three of its games, which is not good considering the team now faces the best program in the nation. Alabama just absolutely drubbed Vanderbilt, as the Tide rolled in a 59-0 victory as 19.5-point road favorites in that one. They rushed for an insane 496 yards in that game, and they also held the Commodores to less than 80 total yards. Ole Miss has, however, been one of the few teams that has had some success against Alabama over the past few years. The Rebels had won two straight against the Crimson Tide before losing 48-43 as 11-point home favorites last year. Still, the team was right there against them last year and can only hope that this year’s game is close. It’s worth noting that Alabama is 13-4 ATS when playing against teams with a winning record over the past three seasons. The Tide can also be confident in the fact that they are 5-1 ATS as a home favorite of 21.5 to 28 points under head coach Nick Saban. They’re also 11-3 ATS after gaining 300 or more rushing yards in their previous game under the future hall of famer.

If Ole Miss is going to have any shot of defeating Alabama on Saturday then QB Shea Patterson (1,281 yards, 11 TD, 4 INT) will need to play the game of his life here. Patterson is coming off of his worst performance of the season, as he completed just 26 of his 44 passes for 363 yards, two touchdowns, and three picks. If Patterson is that careless with the ball on Saturday then Alabama will have less trouble defeating Ole Miss than it did Vanderbilt. What would help Patterson in this game would be if the team could find any sort of consistency in the running game. The Rebels have not been able to create third-and-short situations for Patterson, which means that the young quarterback is always trying to do too much with the ball. That is when mistakes will happen, especially against this Crimson Tide defense. And as for the Rebels’ defense, this team is going to need to really be ready to compete on Saturday. Ole Miss is facing an Alabama team that rushed for nearly 500 yards against Vanderbilt last week. The Commodores do not have that bad of a defense, so it truly shows just how dominant the Tide can be up front. Winning the game at the line of scrimmage is something Alabama will likely do more often than not this season, but Ole Miss needs to make sure it can hold its own.

Alabama always looks like one of the best teams in the nation, but last week’s meeting with Vanderbilt was something else. The Crimson Tide put on one of the most dominant displays in recent memory, outgaining the Commodores 677-78. Alabama was 9-for-15 on third downs and held Vanderbilt to just 1-for-11. The Tide will now do everything they can to put forth a similar performance against the Rebels in this one. While it might not be 59-0, it would not be surprising at all if they were to steamroll Ole Miss here. QB Jalen Hurts (550 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT) should be expecting to have a busier day this weekend than he did last, as he threw for only 78 yards on 17 attempts against Vanderbilt. But Alabama is going to be leaning heavily on the run here, and there is little reason for them not to. Hurts is a great running quarterback, as evidenced by his 360 yards and four touchdowns on the ground this year. But both RBs Damien Harris (309 yards, 6 TD) and Bo Scarbrough (221 yards, 3 TD) can eat up yards themselves. Both guys were excellent against Vandy last week and it should be expected that the two of them have big games here.

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