By Michael Hicks
Rebels Record: 3-3 (1-2)
LIVE TV: CBS Sports (Vern Lundquist, play-by-play; Gary Danielson, color analyst; Tracy Wolfson, sidelines)
Offense: Ole Miss is averaging 29.2 ppg and 382.2 yards per game. Jevan Snead has completed 55.2 percent of his passes for 1,272 yards and nine touchdowns with nine interceptions. His favorite target is Shay Hodge who is averaging 21.9 yards per reception and has four touchdowns. Running back Brandon Bolden as 55 carries for 297 yards and a pair of touchdowns behind an offensive line led by left tackle Michael Oher. Oher is an All-American and â€œarguably one of the best offensive linemen in the countryâ€ Saban said.
Many Alabama players know what a Houston Nutt team will do on offense, “He’s got a lot of gimmicks,” said linebacker Cory Reamer. Head Coach Nick Saban said â€œObviously, their wildcat stuff, or whatever you want to call it, is something that is uniquely different and we did spend a little time on that.â€ Dexter McCluster is the most dangerous weapon for the Rebels McCluster is fourth in the SEC in receiving yards per game (68.5 ypg) and seventh in receptions (4.2 per game).
Defense: The Ole Miss defense is lead by defense end Greg Hardy who last year against Alabama had 13 tackles – 4.5 for a loss – with three sacks, two forced fumbles and two quarterback hurries. So far this season opponents are scoring 24.7 ppg while gaining 341.5 total ypg. The pass defense is a weak point for the Rebels having allowed nine touchdowns with only three interceptions so far this season “Everyone associated with the program knew Ole Miss’ secondary would be a weak link, and it has beenâ€ said Neal McCready of Rebelsports.net. The run defense is a different story only allowing 3.0 yards per carry.
Special Teams: Ole Miss has won games with its special teams play, beating Florida off a blocked extra point. The Rebels are averaging 22.5 yards on kick returns and Mike Wallace had a 98-yard kickoff return against Vanderbilt.
The Series: Alabama owns the series 44-9-2. Alabama has won 18 of the last 21 meetings, including four straight. Alabama won last year in Oxford 27-24. The last three games have been decided in the final minute.