Game Day Info:
When: Saturday October 13th @11:30 AM CT
Where: Oxford, Mississippi
Television Coverage: Lincoln Financial Group
BAMA Team Stats
Total Offense: 403ypg (89th) Total Defense: 343ypg (88th)
Points Per Game: 30ppg (81st) Points Per Game Allowed: 20ppg (66th)
Rushing Offense: 183 (74th) Rushing Yards Allowed: 135ypg (87th)
Passing Offense: 220 (111th) Passing yards Allowed: 207ypg (107th)
BAMA Key Stats and Personnel
Passing: John Parker Wilson (115-213, 1248, 8td)
Rushing: Terry Grant (85-531, 5td), Glenn Coffee (78-372, 3td), Roy Upchurch (17-107, 1td)
Receiving: D.J. Hall (26-439, 3td), Nick Walker (13-112, 2td)
Ole Miss Team Stats
Total Offense: 346ypg (161st) Total Defense: 446ypg (216th)
Points Per Game: 21ppg (197th) Points Per Game Allowed: 27ppg (140th)
Rushing Offense: 110ypg (200th) Rush Defense: 208ypg (213th)
Passing Offense: 236ypg (85th) Pass Defense: 238ypg (173rd)
Ole Miss Key Stats and Personnel
Passing: Seth Adams (110-186, 1357, 10td)
Rushing: BenJarvus Green-Ellis (124-570, 2td), Bruce Hall (17-100)
Receiving: Mike Wallace (24-534, 5td), Shay Hodge (26-273, 3td)
BAMA Quick Hits
BAMA comes into the week's contest after winning against homecoming opponent Houston by the narrowest of margins last Saturday. Just as in the Arkansas game, BAMA jumped out to a big lead early but couldn't play consistently enough to keep the Cougars from clawing their way back into it. The bad news for Tide fans is that this will likely be a recurring theme this season, and one that could happen again on Saturday. The good news for Tide fans however is that the BAMA defense may get a bit of a reprieve on this one. While Ole Miss has some solid ball players on offense they are not nearly as explosive as the Houston Cougars were. They don't have the same type of players in space, nor do they run the same type of offensive philosophy that has caused so many problems for Houston's opponents this year. Ole Miss is more traditional on the offensive side of the ball and that may be just what the doctor ordered for a young, inconsistent group of BAMA defenders.
Another positive going into the game this weekend is that while the Tide offense has been inconsistent for much of the year they will be facing a very average Ole Miss defense. John Parker Wilson and company shouldn't find it too terribly difficult to find a way to score points against a defense that ranks 208th against the run and 173rd in the pass nationally.
What might be the most intriguing issue heading into the game this weekend is just who starts and who sits for BAMA against the Rebels. Saban has once again addressed the issue of the depth chart this week, basically declaring that no starting position is safe on the team. Against Houston for example, we saw the Tide's leading rusher Terry Grant give way to (normally) backup running back Glenn Coffee for much of the day. Defensively, the same situation occurred with linebackers Rolando McClain and backup Prince Hall.
Placing on odds on just who gets to play this weekend might end up being half of the pregame fun.
Tide Player Ole Miss Must Focus On: I'm going with a little different theme this week. Instead of focusing on stopping one of BAMA's offensive players I think that Ole Miss should concentrate on stopping BAMA defensive lineman Wallace Gilberry. Fact is, both teams will probably move the ball and put up some points. The team that does it most consistently on Saturday will win. If the Rebels can keep the heat off quarterback Seth Adams they stand a puncher's chance in this one. If Gilberry goes nuts like he did against Houston (11 tackles, 2 sacks) BAMA will win.
BAMA Will Win If: BAMA will win this one if the offense shows up. Ole Miss doesn't have enough on defense to stop the Tide, but execution, or the lack thereof, has hurt the BAMA offense this season. If John Parker Wilson and the BAMA offense can come out and just play good, solid, consistent, sound offensive football it shouldn't even be that close.
Ole Miss Quick Hits
Half way through the 2007 season the Ole Miss Rebels look just about like the Ole Miss Rebels of years past. Make that, pre-Manning years past. After 6 games the Rebs are winless in conference play and have only logged victories thus far over power programs such as Memphis and Louisiana Tech. All of this is about what we've come to expect from Ole Miss, but here's what you need to know about this year's team. The Rebels are so inconsistent that they're actually a scary team to play against right now. How does a staff game plan for Jekyll and Hyde? How does Saban approach a team that was blown out by Vandy, yet lost to a (then) top-10 team in Florida by 6? Against Georgia the Rebels surrendered 45 points and lost by three touchdowns, but against Missouri (a top-10 team) they scored 25 and lost by 13 points? Thirteen points is a blocked kick and a pick-6. It's not really that much of a disparity when you think about it.
One of the obvious keys when breaking down these numbers and deciphering the team's mindset is to look at the schedule. In particular, the home and away portion of it. Then you start to get the idea. On paper it appears that Ole Miss probably has a young team that plays better at home than on the road, as most young teams do. In home games this season Ole Miss has played two top-10 teams and lost by a combines total of 19 points. One of the Rebels' wins came at home against Louisiana Tech and that game was a blowout. On the flip side, Vandy and Georgia both blew Ole Miss out when they played on the road, with the Rebs giving up a staggering 76 points in both games combined. Did I mention Ole Miss is at home this weekend against BAMA? This definitely bears watching.
Defensively Mississippi just doesn't have anything. If they do it's been the best-kept secret in the Southeastern Conference this year. Expect BAMA to move the ball almost at will on Saturday, provided BAMA doesn't stop BAMA. If the Rebels are going to win this one it will fall to the offense to get the job done. Luckily, this is not the same BAMA defense that Ole Miss has historically had to face, and chances are we could see 75 points put up between them in this one.
Player BAMA Must Focus On: Seth Adams. That's it. End of story. If BAMA is going to win Saturday they have to stop the Ole Miss passing attack. Stopping it will entail a lot of mixed coverages and blitzes to keep Adams from getting into a rhythm. While BAMA did a good job last week of getting pressure on the opposing quarterback, it hasn't been their strong suit this year. Across the board Adams has better numbers than his counterpart John Parker Wilson, and with a very average rushing attack it's Adams' show right now.
Ole Miss Will Win If: If it turns into a real shootout I would have to think that Mississippi gets the edge here while playing at home. Chances are BAMA's defense will do just enough to keep it from being all that close, but you never know. Strange things happen in football games and as mentioned earlier; it only takes one play to dramatically alter the complexion of a game.