It is a tale of two passing teams between #1 Alabama and Ole Miss this Saturday. Both the Ole Miss Rebels and the Alabama Crimson Tide go into week 3 of the season against each other. Both the Rebels and the Tide are coming into this matchup in Oxford, Mississippi with a high-power passing offense. The Rebels are coming into this season with Jordan Ta’amu as their full-time starting quarterback with Shea Patterson now gone. The Crimson Tide are still looking for a definitive answer at the quarterback position. This involves either keeping starter Tua Tagovailoa in the entire game or insert former starter and dual-threat passer in Jalen Hurts in an offensive setting where both can split the reps at 50/50. This is a Tale Of Two Passing Teams With Alabama and Ole Miss
Tale Of Two Passing Teams With Alabama And Ole Miss
The Rebels Passing Game vs. The Tide’s Young Defensive Backs
The Crimson Tide came into the season having to replace all four of their defensive backs. Overall, head coach Nick Saban had to replace five of their main contributors in the defensive backs unit. While safety Deionte Thompson and cornerback Saivion Smith are fitting in very well, the rest of the starters have yet to fully find their stride. The Tide’s defense is currently ranked 85th in the nation passing yards allowed per game (235). Alabama’s defense has not quick to react to the opposing offenses as fast as the past few seasons. This goes to the entire defense as middle linebacker Mack Wilson has not yet gotten into the groove of calling out plays for the Tide’s defense. In games against Louisville and Arkansas State, the Tide have let some easy screens and mid-range routes slip due to their determination of covering deep routes.
This Saturday against the Ole Miss Rebels might be one of the biggest challenges in defending the pass all season. The Rebels are currently ranked 3rd in points per game (61.5) and 2nd in passing yards per game (407.5). Ole Miss has contributed this to a whole diverse setting of pass routes with their talented receiver corps. So far this season, Ta’Amu has passed for 45 completions (out of 65 attempts) for 784 yards (4th in the nation) and 7 touchdowns. A.J. Brown has been a remarkable target as he has accounted for 15 receptions for 251 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Rebels can outscore many top offenses due to their strong-armed quarterback and a roster of talented receivers. With the Tide now entering SEC play, this would be a great time for the defense to come together and review their small systematic flaws.
The Tide Passing Offense vs the Rebels Pass Defense
The Crimson Tide are 23-point favor over the Rebels due to the match-up of the Tide offense and Rebels defense. Alabama’s offense ranks 10th in the nation in points per game (54) and 27th in passing yards per game (309). The Rebels defense is one of the worst defenses in the nation in stopping the run, passing, and scoring. The defense ranks 107th overall in points allowed per game (34) and 125th in total yards allowed per game (558). Finally, the defense ranks 126th in the nation in passing yards allowed per game (355). T
his is due to their inability to make the efficient reads, call correct plays, and stay then stay in coverage. Texas Tech and Southern Illinois have done a great job of finding the holes and quickly attacking the defense. The Rebels defense will face a much more versatile and sound Crimson Tide offense.
The Tide now usually play Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts at 50/50 split reps at quarterback. Despite this, the Tide will be completely focused and find great busted assignments from the Rebels defense. The Crimson Tide have 5 targets that have caught for over 70 yards and 4 four with a touchdown. DeVonta Smith leads the team in receptions yards with 176 yards on 7 receptions. Jerry Jeudy has accounted for 8 receptions for 151 yards and 4 touchdowns. Tua’s explosive arm and durability and the talented, speedy receivers will be very difficult for Ole Miss to stop. The Tide have one of the most consistent blockers in tackle Jonah Williams and center Ross Pierschbacher. Ole Miss’ only chance to create pressure is through the inside where guard Alex Leatherwood has not been the most consistent blocker.
Alabama Might Break The Line Even More
The tale of two passing teams between #1 Alabama and Ole Miss is the same on offense but completely different on defense. Last season, the Crimson Tide destroyed the Ole Miss Rebels at home 66-3 with Hurts as the main passer. This is a tough site for the Tide to win in within the past couple of seasons based on their upsets. The Crimson Tide are more focused on offense with Josh Gattis and Mike Lockleys as the Offensive Coordinators.
Tua has the explosive and consistent arm to make those long passes with his receivers connect. Even when Hurts is in, he has shown signs of improvement in his reads and poise in the pocket. If the Tide focus on defense and avoid mental errors, they will grow to be a stouter defense. The Tide’s offense should find no problem finding the end zone with this passing game. Don’t be surprised if RB Damien Harris or Najee Harris go off on a huge game.