Tide preps for Ole Miss

September 30, 2014

Some random thoughts on Alabama's trip to Oxford, Miss., this weekend for a showdown with the undefeated Rebels ...

 

Establishing run critical ...

As fabulously as Blake Sims has played at quarterback to date, it's not to be overlooked that he'll be facing by far the best secondary he has seen in his first-ever SEC road start. The Rebels feature perhaps the SEC's top group of safeties led by senior enforcer Cody Prewitt, gifted sophomore Tony Conner and rover Trae Elston. If Sims is to find success throwing over the middle of the field at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, he'll need T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry moving the chains well enough to draw those safeties closer to the line of scrimmage. If Ole Miss can stop Alabama's running game without much safety help, Sims will need to rely more on screens, rollouts and the like.

 

Jackson on Treadwell ...

Handling Ole Miss star receiver Laquon Treadwell will be a tall order in the Alabama secondary, and none of the Crimson Tide's cornerbacks are better suited for the task physically than sophomore Eddie Jackson. Treadwell isn't a scary deep threat, but he is extremely physical and knows how to use his size and strength to catch the ball in traffic.  Jackson has the length and strength to battle Treadwell in the intermediate routes that make him such an effective third-down receiver. Ole Miss would be smart to look for Treadwell more when the smaller Cyrus Jones is on him.

 

 

Nkemdiche a concern ...

As a 3-technique defensive tackle, Ole Miss' Robert Nkemdiche will be lined up on one of Alabama's offensive guards all night long - either Arie Kouandjio or Leon Brown. When Alabama has had breakdowns on the offensive line this season, it's come from one of the guard positions as often as any. That will be a concern given Nkemdiche's prolific talent.

 

DePriest a key ...

Alabama missed middle linebacker Trey DePriest against West Virginia when the senior was suspended, and the Mountaineers' hurry-up, no-huddle offense made some plays on the inexperience of Reggie Ragland, who struggled to get UA's defensive front set quickly with the proper call. DePriest will draw most of the praise or blame, whichever applies, for Alabama's down-to-down readiness for the Rebels' hurry-up attack.

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