#2 Alabama (-23.5) vs. Ole Miss
6:30 p.m. CST | Vaught Hemingway Stadium | Oxford, MS | ESPN
Since 2017, playing Alabama has been kind of like ripping off a band-aid for Ole Miss. It’s nice getting it over with, especially early on in the season.
These have been the scores from the last three years, all in favor of the Crimson Tide: 59-31, 62-7, and 66-3.
The good news for the Rebels is that this year’s team, at least offensively, is tremendously better than those of the last three seasons.
Through two games, Ole Miss has the most efficient offense in the Southeastern Conference. Completing the ball 77.4 percent of the time, quarterback Matt Corral and his up-tempo offensive unit are averaging 38.5 points per game.
The bad news for the Rebels is that Hurricane Delta made landfall in Louisiana as of Friday evening. For those that aren’t too well-versed in the realm of meteorology, it’s typically worse to be on the east side of the storm, which Oxford coincidentally is.
As rain tends to equal more rushing, expect Alabama running back Najee Harris to have his biggest game of the season behind one of the SEC’s top offensive lines.
Don’t knock Ole Miss’ rushing attack, though, as Jerrion Ealy, Snoop Conner, and Corral are combining for over 135 yards per game.
The main difference between these two teams comes on the defensive line.
On one hand, you have an Ole Miss defense missing four starters from a year ago on the defensive front, and the lack of experience is glaring. Last week against Kentucky, the Rebels allowed 409 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground.
On the other hand, Alabama’s defensive line, which boasts two of Sporting News‘ top 50 draft prospects in Christian Barmore and LaBryan Ray, leads a defensive unit that ranks as the NCAA’s fifteenth best, giving up a mere 2.88 yards per carry.
Unfortunately for Ole Miss, nothing—from weather to defensive talent—seems to be on their side as head coach Lane Kiffin admitted earlier this week that the 2020 Alabama squad seems to be “probably the best team Coach (Saban) has had.”
Prediction: The Rebels (+23.5) cover the spread, keeping the game within three possessions, but the Crimson Tide come away with a comfortable win.