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Monday storylines: Ole Miss faces Alabama in Tuscaloosa


NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at Mississippi Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama will host Ole Miss in a top 25 matchup where much of the SEC chatter is that the Tide are vulnerable this season after a decade and a half of dominance.

OK, if you’re an Ole Miss fan, you’ve heard this story many times before. You don’t openly talk about it too much and don’t want to poke the bear by disrespecting the Crimson Tide, so we’re just going to say Ole Miss has won twice in Tuscaloosa, don’t bet your bass boat money on the Rebels.

However, there’s some interesting storylines and narratives going into this Saturday’s showdown in T-town. Here’s a quick round-up of what the pundits and fans will be talking about the most.

Tide QB questions

Jalen Milroe did not have a good game against Texas, and the Tide lost by double digits at home for the first time in a long time. The next week there was essentially a try-out vs. the South Florida Bulls on the road between Tyler Buchner and Ty Simpson - it did NOT go great. Buchner and Simpson combined for less than 50 percent completion rate passing the football and negative rushing yards. All signs point to Milroe being the guy under center, but it will be interesting to see if Saban pulls him if he struggles at any point in the game.

Lane Kiffin vs. Nick Saban

No matter what these two say to the media, I don’t think they really care for each other. Kiffin is going to show Saban respect and vice versa - there’s no point in giving the other bulletin board material. Whether its Kiffin or any other former assistant, every head coach in college football wants to take down the best, and while you might want to debate it, Saban is still the best. Meanwhile, the Gumpers are starting to doubt its head coach can still get them to championships, and the pressure on Lil Nicky has to be mounting. Losing to Kiffin would not just be a loss to a former assistant many Tide fans believe installed the greatest offense in program history, it would feel like Saban’s time as top dog is coming to an end.

Ole Miss Injuries

Tre Harris has five touchdowns in five quarters of play for the Rebels, but he has not seen the field since the first quarter of the Tulane game. He is absolutely a difference maker for this offense and his availability means everything for a well oiled passing attack for the Rebels. Quinshon Judkins was the best freshman in the SEC last year, but he has only totaled 145 rushing yards through week three and was listed doubtful before the Georgia Tech game. The Pike Road, Ala. native surely wants to show out in his home state, but it seems like he may not be 100 percent. Can the Rebels pull off a win on the road without two of its best offensive players at their best? I sure wouldn’t think so.