College Football Game of the Week: No. 9 Alabama vs. No. 11 Ole Miss
The No. 9 Alabama Crimson Tide (7-2) travel to Mississippi to take on the No. 11 Ole Miss Rebels (8-1) Saturday. This SEC showcase features a Nick Saban Alabama squad that may not be invincible after all — with two losses on the year both to SEC opponents.
The storyline in this one: the Crimson Tide are in some unfamiliar territory. Alabama has lost in heartbreaking fashion this year— not once, but twice. Its first loss came to the hands of the No. 5 Tennessee Volunteers, 52-49.
A potential game of the year, Tennessee kicker Chase McGrath nailed a game-winning field goal that miraculously bounced off the crossbar and in, stunning the home crowd in Neyland. The second loss Alabama suffered was to the hands of LSU last week, another walk off win.
Alabama opened that LSU game as 13.5 point favorites, expecting to dominate LSU like they have done so well in recent memory. The game did not go as expected. LSU took an early lead, and some Alabama fourth quarter miracles sent the game to overtime, 24-24. The Crimson Tide scored first, but were answered quickly and walked off on a two point conversion, falling 32-31 in Baton Rouge.
Alabama goes on the road again to face another top-15 SEC rival. The Crimson Tide open up as 12-point favorites and ESPN Matchup predictor gives Alabama a 75.3% chance of victory. However, we’ve seen that being two score favorites doesn’t lean in Alabama’s favor.
The X-factor for the Crimson Tide will be their star quarterback, Bryce Young. If Alabama wants to get over the hump, they will have to rely on the man under center to be stellar again, as he has been throughout 2022. The 6’0 junior has been remarkable, passing for over 2,200 yards and 19 touchdowns to only four interceptions.
Young will look early and often to his favorite target, sophomore receiver Ja’Corey Brooks. Brooks has 473 receiving yards on the season with five scores, averaging an impressive 17 yards per catch.
Keeping the balanced attack alive, junior running back Jahmyr Gibbs will have to have a day. Gibbs started off the season hot, but then faltered, and the Crimson Tide will need him to get back to old form to keep the Rebels off balance.
On the other sideline, the Rebels offense starts and finishes with true freshman running back Quinshon Jenkins. The Alabama native has 1,036 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns on the year, averaging nearly 6 yards a clip.
Running the ball on Alabama is no easy test, however. The Crimson Tide sport projected number one pick Will Anderson Jr, who is both a force in the run game and the pass game. Anderson has seven sacks on the year, but can dismantle a running game just as easy as he can get to the quarterback.
The big question though — will Alabama fall on the road against another SEC opponent, and sport a three loss season for the first time in the last decade? Or will it write the ship, and overcome the SEC woes?
Tune in Saturday at 3:30 on CBS to find out.
Parker Silverman is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Freshman / Broadcast Journalism
Parker Silverman is a freshman at Penn State majoring in broadcast journalism. He is a new member of CommRadio, and has written articles and facilitated podcasts for the radio station. Prior to Penn State, Parker served as a student journalist for his high school newspaper. You can follow him on Instagram at @parker.silverman or on Twitter at @parxsilv.