Alabama Football: Chapter One of Head to Head Heisman Race

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Nick Saban has a chance to extend his record against former assistants in Saturday nights showdown against Ole Miss. Kiffin brings his Rebels (or land sharks? or black bears?) to town coming off of a hot start to the season. Alabama Football looks to continue its run of dominance.

Ole Miss leads the nation in yards per game, presenting a tall order for the Alabama Football defense.

Most notably though, Saturday will give the country the first true comparison of the top two Heisman candidates.

Alabama Football’s Bryce Young and Ole Miss’ Matt Corral face off head to head in a fight for the 2021 Heisman Trophy

The Heisman Trophy certainly won’t be the first priority on either of these player’s minds going into the game. Saban and Kiffin will make sure of that. Saban has a standard for his team to live up to, and Kiffin is trying to make history.

But for fans, it should be a great show.

Alabama Football’s Bryce Young

Bryce Young has been impressive in his sophomore start with the Alabama Football team. He goes through his reads like a veteran and plays the game like a mini-Aaron Rodgers. His stats on the season include a 72.1 percent completion rate on the season, 1124 total yards averaging 9.2 yards per play, 15 touchdowns with one interception.

The one interception was hardly his fault coming off of a tipped pass from his receiver with a defensive back in the right place at the right time.

He put the team on his back in Gainesville, fighting through a hostile environment to come out with a win. The defense couldn’t find an answer for the Gators and the running game couldn’t get going. But Bryce found a way. He showed the poise of a fifth-year senior in only his third start of his career.

He has had as near of a perfect start as you can imagine.

Ole Miss’ Matt Corral

Matt Corral gave the Alabama defense fits last year. Supposedly, Kiffin had the Tide’s defensive play calls and signals, but regardless, they had no answer for Corral. This year, Corral appears to be picking up right where he left off.

His stats on the season include a 68.8 percent completion rating for 997 yards and an average of 10.4 yards on the season. He has nine touchdowns with no interceptions.

Keep in mind that Ole Miss had their bye-week last week, so these numbers have come in one less game than Young’s.

However, Alabama has played two top-25 opponents in Miami and Florida. Ole Miss has not faced a top-25 opponent this season.

Saturday will be the Rebels’ first true test of the season. The Tide defense has still shown flashes of missed assignments and missed tackles, but it has improved slightly from last season. The Ole Miss defense has as well.

Last season’s game against Kiffin gave us all near heart attacks. A 63-48 shootout came closer to the wire than the score shows. Mac Jones knew he had to score touchdowns every time he touched the ball on offense.

I expect round two on Saturday.

According to WynnBET, Ole Miss comes to Tuscaloosa as a 14.5 point underdog, but I anticipate a closer game. The over-under is at 79.5 points. I believe they are giving the defenses a little too much credit for improvement from last season. With Heisman candidates Young and Corral behind center, I’m gladly taking the over on that.

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Whatever the outcome may be, Young and Corral are sure to put on a show. It should be a great game for football fans. Who knows, it could be the defining point in the 2021 Heisman race.