Saturday’s game against the No. 2-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide (2-0) may not even happen due to Hurricane Delta barreling towards Lafayette County. But, the Ole Miss Rebels (1-1) are welcoming Nick Saban and Co. to Vaught-Hemingway for an offensive showdown under the lights.
The Southeastern Conference and ESPN decided it would be smart(?) to move the game back 90 minutes to try and avoid the terrible weather so they can get the game in during primetime. The marquee matchup between Nick Saban and Lane Kiffin will be going head-to-head with No. 1 Clemson and No. 7 Miami on Saturday and, honestly, despite the Tide being the heavy favorite, a lot people will probably tune in.
The game boasts two of the most efficient and explosive arms in college football. Matt Corral and Mac Jones have been on a torrid pace through two games and, weather-permitting, seem poised to put on a show Saturday tonight.
Highest passer rating among SEC QBs this week:— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 4, 2020
1. Matt Corral, Ole Miss - 152.2
2. Mac Jones, Alabama - 138.4
3. Kyle Trask, Florida - 126.1
4. Feleipe Franks, Arkansas - 117.0 pic.twitter.com/TePyIxYesA
The two are also top-three in yards per attempt with Jones (13.4) and Corral (11.9) and are the only starting power-five quarterbacks with 0 turnover-worthy passes. Alabama boasts two of the most explosive receivers in the country in DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle. The Rebels will have their work cut out for them trying to defend them, but the most valuable weapon might be in the backfield.
Najee Harris is a legitimate NFL-worthy talent who can tote the rock and give DJ Durkin and Chris Partridge fits with their inability to stop the run through two weeks of the 2020 season. The California native had 46 carries of 10+ yards a year ago and if Ole Miss can’t slow him down, it will be a long night.
On defense, the 17th-ranked unit may not seem like Saban’s normal, dominant group, but they are fast and physical up front.
Shocker, I know.
But, they are absolutely not dominant in the secondary. The Crimson Tide are giving up an insane 294(!) yards through the air. I literally had to triple check because I thought it was a typo. Corral, Kiffin, and Jeff Lebby are almost certainly licking their chops to get a piece of Saban’s secondary after seeing those numbers.
If the tropical storm behaves, we might get to see a show. Sure, it might be in a losing effort, but at this point, this is a free shot against a College Football Playoff team before hitting the reset button and getting ready for a winnable game against Arkansas next week.
Go out there and let it all hang out and try to embarass some defensive backs in the process.
Line: Alabama -23.5
How to watch
Where: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, Miss.
When: 6:30pm CDT
Online streaming: WatchESPN