Ole Miss Rebels vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
Date and Time: Saturday, September 30, 2017, 9 p.m. ET
Location: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL
Opening College Football Odds: Alabama -28
Ole Miss vs. Alabama TV Coverage: ESPN
The Crimson Tide admitted they were tired of hearing about Clemson or USC or Oklahoma or Oklahoma State. It was time to hear about Alabama again.
So in Week 4, the Tide did what the Tide do best: Pummeled the heck out of some unsuspecting foe.
This box score tells the whole story. Damien Harris and Bo Scarbrough both had more total yards of offense as individuals than Vanderbilt did as a team in a 59-0 romp. The previously unbeaten Commodores had just three first downs for the entire game and gave up a stunning 38.
The final yardage count? 677-78. The time of possession battle? 42:55-17:05. This was a butt-whooping in every sense of the world, and in this conference, those dominant performances all belong to one team and one team only.
You could surely build a case for backing Ole Miss in this game, though. The storied history of these rivals tells its own tale, and the fact that the Rebels were flying all over the field against South Alabama and Tennessee Martin before getting beaten by a good Cal team on the road in Week 3 shows that they’ve got some chops this year.
The raw talent on this team is pretty darn good. Shea Patterson is arguably a better quarterback than Chad Kelly, and this defense, for all of its flaws, has a slew of talent on it.
That said, this is a major step up in class for sure. Cal couldn’t handle USC, and that has to worry the Rebs just a bit. If they couldn’t fight it out with the Golden Bears, and the Golden Bears couldn’t fight it out with USC (and presumably, USC can’t keep up with Alabama), that’s bad news for a trip to Bryant-Denny.
Matchup to Watch
When Ole Miss has won this game over the course of the last several seasons, it’s been because its wide receivers have made huge plays. Laquon Treadwell, Quincy Adeboyejo and Damore’ea Stringfellow made names for themselves with big moments against Alabama.
This year’s set of receivers is darn good, but there’s a big problem in the form of A.J. Brown’s injured ankle. Brown has been sitting out of practice over the course of the team’s bye week and always had his sights set on returning for this game. Brown, DaMarkus Lodge and D.K. Metcalf all have at least one catch of 70+ yards this season, and they’ve combined to haul in 47 passes for 919 yards and 10 touchdowns between them (in just three games!).
The Crimson Tide have one of the best secondary players in the nation in Minkah Fitzpatrick, but the rest of this unit has been questioned. This could be the Achilles’ heel, and it could be the one factor in this game that plays into the hands of the Rebels.
Ole Miss vs. Alabama Free Picks
The matchup is juicy. The Rebels are off of a bye week. Without a bowl game to play in this year, this is their Super Bowl.
And none of that matters. Alabama is still Alabama.
Nick Saban isn’t going to let the Rebels get the best of him again. For as great as Ole Miss has looked offensively, this schedule absolutely hasn’t gotten it prepared for a game like this one. The Tide rolled into Nashville last week and rolled out with a 59-0 victory. We’re not saying that it’s going to be that emphatic this week, but we have no doubt that this is one of the easiest games on the board at all of the college football sportsbooks.
College Football ATS Pick: Alabama -28 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Alabama 45, Ole Miss 10