Ole Miss defensive front will test Alabama

September 16, 2016

If the problems Alabama has had on the interior of the offensive line straighten themselves out against Ole Miss Saturday, you can consider the problem solved long-term. That's because the Rebels defensive line has more than enough talent to give the Alabama coaching staff a good picture of what is to come as the Crimson Tide's guards and center embark upon the SEC schedule. No, there isn't a Myles Garrett at defensive end, whom the Tide will face later in the year against Texas A&M, but Rebels pass rusher Marquis Haynes is dangerous in his own right. At defensive tackle, Breeland Speaks and D.J. Jones will present more of a challenge, to be sure, than USC's defensive line did two weeks ago.

Whether the coaching staff goes with Ross Pierschbacher or Alphonse Taylor at right guard remains to be seen. And the play of left guard Lester Cotton and center Bradley Bozeman, while a bit more consistent than the right guard spot, aren't beyond a lineup shuffle themselves.

Sources tell Crimson Cover that Taylor is a good bet to earn his first start of the season at right guard, but the coaching staff will be looking for more consistency from the second-year starter.

Ole Miss' defensive front likes to shoot gaps, take chances, and play one-gap football for the most part. That means a few tackles for loss are inevitable, but it also means Lane Kiffin will have a chance to hit some big plays in the running game and with the screen pass.

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