Ole Miss Alabama Football Pick

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Ole Miss

vs.

Alabama

SEC College

Football Pick

9/19/15

Ole Miss has looked like one of the best teams in college football through the first two weeks, but will that be the case when the Rebels travel to Alabama for a huge SEC West meeting? The Crimson Tide, No. 2 in the country, are favored as expected, by -6 points, but opened at -7 (at 5 Dimes).

Last year’s result hasn’t been easily forgotten for either team with Ole Miss getting a huge 23-17 win over then-No. 3 ranked Alabama. It was a slugfest that the Rebels won after winning the second half, outscoring the Tide 20-3. Surprisingly in that Game, Ole Miss only ran for 76 yards on 32 carries, while allowing 168 yards to Bama, so it wasn’t as if the Rebels dominated the line. Bo Wallace did win the quarterback battle against Blake Sims, having the only three passing TDs of the Game.

The difference this year is the obvious new names at quarterback with Chad Kelly in at Ole Miss and Jake Coker for Alabama. Kelly has had the better start, albeit against weaker opponents, while Coker already has a Top 25 win over Wisconsin in Week 1. Granted, most of Alabama’s success has come through the running Game, so once again, if Mississippi can’t stop Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake from going off, they’ll have a hard time pulling off a road upset, especially with the Tide looking for revenge after last year’s loss.

Alabama still hasn’t looked overly great by any means. A win over Wisconsin was nice, but they followed that up with an unimpressive win over Middle Tennessee State. The number that stands out is Wisconsin’s ground Game only garnering 40 yards on the ground against the Tide. For the Rebels to get back-to-back wins vs. Alabama they’ll need to get something going on the ground, more so than last year’s 78 yards. So far, they have been able to run at 7.8 yards per clip, but obviously that number will take a hit against Alabama’s defensive front. They’ll need to get something from the running Game, but it will be really interesting to see what Kelly can do. Kelly has had quite the career so far: Jim Kelly’s nephew, formerly of Clemson and national-title winner at East Mississippi CC. So far, he’s led Ole Miss to 12 touchdowns in 15 drives.

On the other end, Alabama has questions of its own, but we do know the Tide will attack the ground Game as much as possible. Henry is averaging 7.8 yards per carry for 6 TDs and Drake is at 7.3 ypc. They completely manhandled Wisconsin’s defense and that’s something Ole Miss will need to stop from happening. The Rebels did well for the most part last year, but doing so again will be tough.

Even then, should Alabama be a nearly touchdown favorite against this Ole Miss team? The line dropped from -7 to -6 for a reason. There are new pieces on both of these squads and the Rebels have recruited almost just as well as the Crimson Tide.

Our Pick – Big revenge spot for Alabama and revenge all the more powerful when the opportunity comes at home. But the talent gap has closed between these programs and we can’t pass up a TD. Ole Miss +7 -120

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