Posted: 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013
By Slice of Life
The Rebels threw three interceptions against Alabama last year, but have just one through three games this season.
The Ole Miss defense also took a few positives away from Tuscaloosa last September. The 3.7-yard rushing average was the lowest for Alabama in SEC play as it failed to control the line all night.
"It was just coming down hill and hitting them," said Ole Miss safety Cody Prewitt, owner of 13 tackles against Alabama last season. "We hit them as hard as we could. We couldn't let them run all over us and we didn't."
The 33-14 final left reason for optimism in Oxford. A year later, the Rebels look back on that September night in Bryant-Denny Stadium with an eye on improving in this Saturday's return.
"Last year I felt like we really came out there and played them, out-physicaled them a little bit," Ole Miss safety Cody Prewitt said. "And I expect for them to remember that game and they're going to come out and give us their best. I think it's really going to be a throw-down."
Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace
"All the other guys did some good things and some bad things," Saban said. "We're just going to have to continue to work through this week of practice and see who else we end up starting at the other corner."
Saban mentioned just one spot in particular because Belue is poised to return against the Rebels. After missing the second half at Texas A&M; and all of Saturday with an injured toe, Belue returned to practice Monday. He spent all of last week's practices working off to the side with trainers.
-- WR Amari Cooper looked to be running fine during press coverage drills.
-- Didn't see much limping from CB Deion Belue, either.
-- We mentioned yesterday that all of Alabama's freshman running backs were wearing scout team jerseys. Today, that was true for everyone except Altee Tenpenny, who was back in his No. 23. Specifically, Derrick Henry is playing the role of I'Tavius Mathers while Tyren Jones and Alvin Kamara are wearing Jeff Scott's number.
So why should the offense continue to beat its head against the wall trying to run the football? Doing that against a team like No. 21 Ole Miss (3-0) this Saturday could end in defeat. The Rebels, though thin in terms of depth, are bigger and stronger and more talented up front on defense than CSU could ever hope to be.
Ole Miss is, after all, allowing only 3.09 yards per rush this season, third in the SEC behind Florida and Arkansas. The Rebels are much more susceptible to the pass, giving up an average of 218.3 yards per game.
Maybe instead of expecting gaping holes and big gains in the running game, Alabama should simply go with what works and put the ball in the air. Though it might be unfamiliar to the program's ground-and-pound roots, it is working. Alabama is undefeated and scoring points hasn't been much of problem.
Apparently, C.J. Mosley wasn't much happier than AJ after the Colorado State game. After Saban finished his post game speech, Mosley stood up and lit into the team with a speech about getting their minds right and erasing mental errors. Here him talk about that speech here.