Alabama Football: Ole Miss might be content playing on the road


Facing Alabama football in Tuscaloosa might obscure the discontent over Ole Miss football in Oxford as the program struggles to recover from the Hugh Freeze years.

Not many Ole Miss fans are looking forward to Saturday’s matchup against the explosive Alabama football offense. What the Alabama Crimson Tide is best at, and what Ole Miss is worst at, make for a contest allowing the Tide to name the score.

If it does not get ugly, the reason will be Nick Saban. The Alabama football head man is no fan of lop-sided scores that can embarrass opposing coaches.

Whatever the outcome, Ole Miss will not have to suffer it being played out in Oxford, MS. As the tweet below shows, the Ole Miss program has lost most of the enthusiasm it briefly experienced under Hugh Freeze, a few short years ago.

The two schools are old rivals with some classic games in the Bear Bryant and Johnny Vaught years. They have played 66 times, with Ole Miss winning only 10 games. During the last 30 seasons, Ole Miss has managed just four wins, two of them being the Hugh Freeze shockers in 2014 and 2015.

How fast it all changed for Ole Miss. Four seasons later the program struggles to escape the SEC West cellar. Trouble with the NCAA and Freeze’s ignominious exit tarnished the program’s image and crippled its ability to compete.

The last two Alabama football wins over Ole Miss have been by a combined score of 128-10. It will probably not be that ugly in Tuscaloosa on Saturday, but one mismatch indicates otherwise.

NCAA FBS stats show Alabama football has the No. 3 passing offense in the nation. Ole Miss is No. 114 in passing yards allowed. Tua’s day should be over well before the third quarter ends.

What will the three Ole Miss head coaches do to minimize the damage? Using two quarterbacks could help. At least it forces the Crimson Tide to defend two different styles. After starter Matt Corral exited last week’s game with bruised ribs, true freshman John Rhys Plumlee gave his team a boost.

Aided by a long touchdown run by Plumlee, Ole Miss almost came back from a 15-point deficit. Following an 89-yard drive, Plumlee was stopped at the goal line for what could have become a game-tying touchdown.

Ole Miss has two solid running backs in Scottie Phillips and Jerrion Ealy. Rich Rod may try to use the legs of Plumlee, Phillips and Ealy to maintain possession against the Crimson Tide. If so, it will not alter the result but it might constrain the Tide’s winning margin.

dark. Next. The changing tides of CFB

In the developing news category, Deonte Brown is not in Nick Saban’s doghouse. Brown can play this week and Saban says he has been working hard.