#1 Alabama Crimson Tide at #19 Ole Miss Rebels
Vaught-Hemingway Stadium – Oxford, Mississippi
Saturday, September 17, 2016, 3:30 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
Opening Line: Alabama -9
Current Line: Alabama -11
Opening Total: 54
Current Total: 54 1/2
Opening Money Line: Alabama -360 / Ole Miss +300
Current Money Line: Alabama -420 / Ole Miss +335
For two straight seasons, the Mississippi Rebels have defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide. Both losses were the only ones in the regular season for the Crimson Tide. Alabama leads the series 47-11-2 including 7-4 in Oxford. The Rebels won last year in Tuscaloosa 43-37. Ole Miss led that game 30-10 with just under four minutes left in the third and held on for dear life.
The two teams meet again Saturday in Oxford. Alabama is 2-0 this season under coach Nick Saban. Ole Miss is 1-1 under coach Hugh Freeze. This is the SEC opener for both schools.
Alabama has blowout wins over Southern California 52-6 in Arlington, Texas and last week at home 38-10 against Western Kentucky. The game against Western Kentucky was only significant because late in the game Saban was caught on camera verbally berating offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin. Alabama is 2-0 ATS and the total is 1-1 this season. The Crimson Tide just covered the 27 point spread against Western Kentucky and the total was 59.
Ole Miss is playing their second top five team of the season after a tough opening loss to Florida State 45-34 in Orlando despite leading 28-6 with three minutes left in the second quarter. The Rebels rebounded with a 38-13 win at home over Wofford last week. Mississippi is 0-2 ATS and the total is 1-1 this season. The Rebels were 43 point favorites against Wofford and the total was 56.5.
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Alabama is outscoring teams 45-8 this season. The Crimson Tide average 470 yards per game on offense including 287 passing and 183 rushing yards. Alabama is allowing 217 yards per game on defense including 173 passing and 44 rushing. The Crimson Tide are even in turnovers with 3 giveaways and takeaways. Alabama averages 57 penalty yards per game and opponents average 31 per game. The Crimson Tide is 18/36 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 10/37. Alabama has forced 7 sacks and allowed five this season. The Crimson Tide are 9/9 scoring in the red zone with 7 touchdowns, and opponents are 2/2 with no touchdowns.
True freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts looks to start his second straight game. He has thrown for 405 yards with 4 touchdowns and a touchdown, and has 20 carries for 51 yards with 2 touchdowns. Blake Barnett has taken a few snaps and has thrown for 164 yards and a touchdown. Cooper Bateman could also see a few snaps.
Running back Damien Harris has 20 carries for 183 yards and also has 2 catches. B.J. Emmons has 12 carries for 59 yards and a touchdown. Bo Scarbrough has 16 carries for 55 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Receiver ArDarius Stewart has 9 catches for 203 yards and 3 touchdowns, plus 3 carries for 29 rushing yards. Calvin Ridley has 11 catches for 138 yards and a touchdown. Gehrig Dieter has 3 catches for 101 yards and a touchdown. Tight end O.J. Howard has 5 catches for 68 yards. Receiver Cam Sims is probable with a shoulder injury.
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Ole Miss is outscoring opponents 36-29 this season. The Rebels average 398 yards per game on offense including 278 passing and 120 rushing yards. On defense, Ole Miss is allowing 443 yards per game including 246 passing and 197 rushing yards. Mississippi is -4 in turnovers and has not forced one this season. The Rebels average 50 penalty yards per game and opponents average 76 per game. Ole Miss is 16/25 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 17/37. The Rebels have forced 3 sacks and allowed 5 this season. Ole Miss is 10/10 scoring in the red zone with 10 touchdowns and opponents are 9/9 with 5 touchdowns.
Quarterback Chad Kelly has thrown for 532 yards with 7 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, and has rushed for 28 yards on 17 carries.
Running back Akeem Judd has 19 carries for 108 yards and a touchdown. Eugene Brazley and Jason Pellerin will also get some carries. Running backs Eric Swinney and and Jordan Wilkins are both out for the season.
Seven Rebels have caught a touchdown pass this season. Tight end Evan Engram has 11 catches for 164 yards and a touchdown. Receiver DaMore’ea Stringfellow has 8 catches for 81 yards and a touchdown. A.J. Brown, Van Jefferson, Quincy Adeboyejo and and Markell Pack will also get targets. Receiver D.J. Metcalf is out for the season with a foot injury. He had two touchdown catches.
Alabama is 6-1 ATS in road games, 5-1 after gaining more than 450 total yards, 4-1 on field turf, 7-2 overall and after allowing less than 20 points, 6-2 after a straight up win and after allowing less than 275 total yards, and 5-2 after allowing 100 rushing yards or less. The under is 6-2 in this series recently. The road team is 6-2 ATS in the last 8 games of the series.
Ole Miss is 7-3 ATS at home, 2-5 after a straight up win, 2-8 after allowing less than 20 points, and 0-4 after allowing more than 200 rushing yards. The Rebels are 8-3 ATS in the last 11 games against the Crimson Tide and were the underdog in each of those contests. Ole Miss is 5-2 ATS at home against Alabama recently.
If Ole Miss plays like they did in the first half against Florida State then they have a good shot of beating Alabama for the third straight season. However, it could be a blowout if they play like they did in the second half of that game where they were outscored 32-6. I think Alabama wins on the road by pulling away late in another high scoring game.