by Michael Hicks
Coming off a bye week Alabama (6-0, 3-0) is healthy and focused for Ole Miss (3-3, 1-2) on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on CBS. Houston Nutt will lead his Rebels into Bryant-Denny Stadium looking to upset the number two team in the nation.
Nutt is 5-8 all time against top five opponents; the Rebels beat Florida 31-30 in the Swamp earlier this year.
Ole Miss is fourth in the conference averaging 163.0 yards per game on the ground. The Tide is allowing 50.8 yards per game on the ground, second-best in the nation behind TCU.
Turnovers have plagued the Rebels all season they have 15 in their past five games.
John Parker Wilson could have a big game against one of the worst pass-defenses in the SEC. In two games against the Rebels Wilson is a combined 42-of-68 for 471 yards with two touchdowns and a passer rating of 126.7.
The Ole Miss defense gave the Crimson Tide offensive line fits last year especially end Greg Hardy, who had 13 tackles – 4.5 for a loss – with three sacks, two forced fumbles and two quarterback hurries.
The Bama defense will have to be ready for the â€œWild Rebelâ€ formation. Dexter McCluster is a threat running the ball so far 215 yards and three touchdowns and catching it. He has 25 catches for 411 yards and a TD.
The top two left tackles in the game will be on the field in Ole Missâ€™ Michel Oher and UAâ€™s Andre Smith.
Alabama leads the series with Ole Miss 44-9-2, and has won four straight meetings and 20 of the past 23..
Prediction: With everybody at full strength the Tide does not have to worry about injuries like in the Tulane game. Look for the Tide to come out and attack the Rebels weak secondary. John Parker Wilson needs to have a big game coming off a poor performance against Kentucky . These two teams always play a close game; the last three games have been decided in the final minute. Nick Saban will make sure the Crimson Tide does not come out flat and take the Rebels lightly. The game will be close to start but the Tide will prove too much in the end.
Alabama 31, Ole Miss 17