Three individual matchups that will help decide the outcome between Ole Miss and Alabama:
photo credit: AP/Oxford Eagle
Ole Miss OL Fahn Cooper vs. Alabama's pass rushers - Why is this a key matchup? Primarily because star Rebels tackle Laremy Tunsil won't be part of it. Crimson Cover sources indicate Tunsil will miss his third consecutive game amid an NCAA investigation, and according to ESPN.com, he's likely to miss even more action than that. Jonathan Allen figures to be one name coming off the blindside edge for the Crimson Tide, but Cooper will likely have to deal with several faces in pass protection.
Ole Miss WR Laquon Treadwell vs. Alabama CB Cyrus Jones - Since the middle of last season, Jones has been one of the most reliable cover men in the SEC, and that's continued so far this year. The Rebels have all kinds of weapons at wide receiver, but Treadwell is the one they count on most on third down, and Jones will draw him in coverage plenty.
Ole Miss LB Denzel Nkemdiche vs. Alabama RB Kenyan Drake - Alabama will look to get Drake the ball in the open field as its most dangerous offensive weapon. Nkemdiche, as a weakside linebacker who is undersized and can run like a safety, will often find himself in a position to either contain or lose containment on Drake, who likes to bounce plays outside where his explosiveness can best be put to use.