Alabama vs. Ole Miss: The Clash of SEC Powerhouses
A Critical Matchup that Could Define the Season
No. 13 Alabama will host No. 15 Ole Miss this Saturday in what promises to be a thrilling SEC West showdown. Both teams enter the contest with high hopes and aspirations for the season, making this matchup a potential turning point for the trajectory of their campaigns. Although it is still early in the season, this game carries significant weight and could have massive ramifications in the race to the College Football Playoff.
The Crimson Tide’s Struggles at Quarterback
Alabama‘s 17-3 victory over South Florida last week was marred by less-than-stellar quarterback play from Tyler Buchner and Ty Simpson. As a result, Coach Nick Saban announced this week that opening-day starter Jalen Milroe will return to the starting lineup. The decision to make the announcement on Monday, a day typically reserved for rest and recovery, raises questions about the level of concern within the Crimson Tide coaching staff. Milroe’s ability to make big plays on the ground adds an intriguing dimension to their offense. However, the coaching staff’s challenge lies in effectively utilizing Milroe’s skills without forcing their offensive system to fit his style.
The Importance of Quinshon Judkins for the Rebels
Ole Miss’ star running back, Quinshon Judkins, led the SEC in rushing last season. However, he has struggled to find his rhythm in 2023 due to injuries. In their victory over Georgia Tech last week, Judkins was limited to just 13 carries for 37 yards. As a result, quarterback Jaxson Dart took on a more significant role in the rushing attack. To achieve a more balanced offensive approach, Coach Lane Kiffin must find a way to maximize Judkins’ impact and protect Dart by establishing a consistent running game. Kiffin has a history of employing creative strategies against Alabama, and a healthy Judkins will provide him with more options to exploit the Crimson Tide defense.
The Pete Golding Factor
Ole Miss’ first-year defensive coordinator, Pete Golding, brings a unique perspective to this matchup. Prior to his current role, Golding spent five years leading the Crimson Tide defense. His familiarity with Alabama‘s offensive system, including quarterback Jalen Milroe, adds an intriguing element to the game. Additionally, Golding’s departure from Alabama did not end on the best terms, injecting a potent revenge factor into the mix. The combination of Golding’s knowledge and desire to prove himself will undoubtedly make this a captivating matchup to watch.
Prediction and Picks
Despite their impressive performance and victory over Georgia Tech last week, Ole Miss finds itself as a touchdown underdog against Alabama. However, overlooking the Rebels could prove to be a mistake. Their offensive creativity, coupled with Alabama‘s struggles on the defensive front, creates an opportunity for Coach Lane Kiffin to engineer an upset. This game has the potential to be a high-scoring affair, but ultimately, the Rebels will emerge victorious.
Pick: Ole Miss +7
This prediction is shared by several college football experts, including Dennis Dodd, Tom Fornelli, Chip Patterson, Shehan Jeyarajah, David Cobb, and Jerry Palm. Their collective forecasts give credence to the notion that Ole Miss has what it takes to defeat Alabama.
Other Intriguing Matchups in Week 4
If you’re interested in other college football picks for Week 4, a proven computer model on SportsLine has returned almost $2,500 in profit over the past seven-plus seasons. It offers insights into which teams will win and cover the spread. Visit SportsLine to make informed decisions and find out more.
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