Crimson Tide Football: Scouting the Rebels Run Game

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Crimson Tide are coming off a heartbreaking loss to LSU and are facing a quick turnaround against a very good Ole Miss team on the road this Saturday. Old friend, and known Saban defender, Lane Kiffin brings a potent offense to the field ranking 16th in the country in points per game averaging just under 40 points a game. The Rebels boast a solid running game and an improving quarterback in transfer Jaxson Dart does just enough to prevent defenses from loading up on the box. As always, Kiffin gets the most of the unit through his unique play calling style, particularly with how creative he is in the run game. The Crimson Tide will need a stronger showing this week if they hope to slow down this explosive attack. Get your popcorn ready!

The Rebel Run Game

On the ground, Ole Miss is anchored by phenomenal freshman Quinshon Judkins. The former 3 star out of Pike Road Alabama wasn’t offered by the Crimson Tide and may come into the contest with a chip on his shoulder. The Rebels base out of a zone scheme on the ground and use motions and shifts to create seams in the defense. Here, the Rebels bring a receiver in motion and fake the jet sweep which causes the defense to overplay into the boundary. Judkins doesn’t need much space and uses his elite speed to make the Wildcats pay.

The nature of the Ole Miss offense also helps Judkins by providing light boxes. The Rebels employs a lot of quick screens and easy throws, which causes defenses to play Nickle and remove linebackers from the field. Ole Miss used this one back power, or Dart, scheme multiple times against A&M whenever they presented a 5 man box. Again, Judkins shows great patience letting the pulling tackle set up his block before exploding for a big gain.

Crimson Tide: Keys to Success

One of the issues the Tide has had this year has been against the run, specifically outside the tackles. Jaxson Dart is a threat to run, but not in the same way Jayden Daniels was against LSU. Alabama’s success will depend upon the ability of their Safeties to make tackles around the line of scrimmage. Demarcco Hellams in particular needs to take the next step in his development. If he can become an enforcer in the run game, that will allow the inside linebackers to stop the inside zone play. The Tide will also need to see more from their defensive line, as the Tide has lacked a true run stuffer up front all year. If not, it could be another long night for Pete Golding’s unit.

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