Alabama Football: The Tide’s Defense Will Shred Ole Miss

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 02: Mack Wilson /

Alabama football’s defensive “Savages” will be the key to a Crimson Tide victory against the Ole Miss Rebels this weekend.

ICYMI: Does The Ole Miss QB Really Play Like Manziel?

Tomorrow, the Alabama Crimson Tide football team will face the Ole Miss Rebels in an SEC West matchup that became a slight ‘rivalry’ in recent years.

Thursday, the @OleMissFB Twitter account posted a tweet reading, “Last time in Tuscaloosa… #TBT” with pictures of the Ole Miss win over Bama two years ago at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Probably not the smartest thing in the world.

If Ole Miss wants to participate in Throwback Thursday, allow me to participate in Flashback Friday. We don’t have to flashback very far. After all, the last time someone talked trash about Alabama football before the game was just last week.

Does Alabama 59, Vanderbilt 0 ring a bell?

I thought so.

Welcome Back, Savages!

While many factors led to that particular beat down, the one that stood out the most was the return of the ‘Savages.’ Last season, Bama’s defense earned the nickname because of the gritty, angry way that they attacked opposing teams. Having injured players, including defensive powerhouse Rashaan Evans, healthy for the Vanderbilt game was definitely Alabama football’s biggest game-changer last week against the ‘Dores.

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The Tide has great young players for sure, but the defensive schemes are the most complex in college football. In order to play fast and angry in plays that complex, a player has to have many reps in that scheme.  Younger players who are thinking too much on the field about their assignments often hesitate to play instinctively.

However, when a player is comfortable (and generally older with more experience), the overall game plan is deeply planted into the brain and the ability to act on instinct takes over. That is exactly what happened last week, when the Savages showed up to beat the ever-loving snot out of Vanderbilt.

So what now?

Alabama football’s defense has got to constantly be on high alert, and thinking ahead. Each week, Alabama gets to see ‘new plays’ that teams install just for them. It is not a coincidence that most of Bama’s SEC opponents in the West schedule their bye week before they play Bama. Nick Saban himself spoke to this point last season, saying that he often sees new schemes put in play specifically against the Tide.

Most teams that successfully attack the Bama defense need misdirection and special ‘wrinkles’ in their gameplay. These two steps work to slow the defense mentally while trying to speed up the game physically. Ole Miss does not have that ability, at least from what we’ve seen so far this season.

Next: Who will take the reigns of the elephant-drawn carriage?

Provided the Savages continue to play hard, fast, and mean this week, I see no reason whatsoever why the Tide won’t roll over the Rebels Saturday night.

Score prediction: Alabama 38, Ole Miss 10. Roll Tide, y’all!