You've heard it by now. Ole Miss scored 76 and 73 points in their first two games. If you had not already heard this, then you live in a wonderful world not infested and ruined by the media and narratives, and I envy you. It cannot be ignored, unfortunately, that Ole Miss has displayed a dynamic, record-setting offense thus far into the season. Obviously, this fact is easy to discount due to the level of competition they have faced so far (UT Martin and Fresno State), but 70 points per game is still 70 points per game. I mean, I'd probably be worn out just from trying to run across a goal line unhindered that many times.
The Rebels appear to have already found their quarterback for the season after starting with a 3-headed QB battle. Clemson transfer Chad Kelly has looked every bit the part of a starter, and is already being mentioned as a rising star to watch for as a potential dark horse Heisman candidate. Its a little premature, but it speaks to how well Kelly has played in his first two games. Kelly can make any throw in the book, from short passes to deep bombs, runs the Ole Miss offense smoothly, and is a decent threat on the run too. Kelly has completed 73% of his passes for 557 yards and 6 touchdowns en route to a ridiculous 14 yards per attempt. He has also added 6 rushes for 46 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground.
At running back, the dynamic Jaylen Walton and Eugene Brazley have a 103 and 102 yards average respectively, and have combined for 4 touchdowns on the ground. Akeem Judd and Jordan Wilkins also have double digit carries each, showing the Rebel's depth at the position. While a dangerous complement to the passing offense, the stable of Ole Miss running backs will always take a backseat to the spread passing scheme employed by the Rebels.
At receiver, Ole Miss has developed a deep and talented group of pass catchers with the ability to give the Alabama secondary fits. All-World receiver Laquon Treadwell looks to be close to 100% healthy after a nasty injury in 2014. The 6'4" receiver is third on the team with 117 receiving yards so far, and is working his way back to being the featured man in the Rebel passing attack. The Rebels also feature a pair of veteran deep threats, Cody Core and Quincy Adeboyejo. Both men are 6'3" and are considered some of the fastest players on the team. Core leads the team with 176 receiving yards and an outstanding 22 yards per catch, and Adeboyejo is not far behind with 153 yards on 19.1 yards per catch. He also leads the team with 4 receiving touchdowns.
Ole Miss has put together a spectacular passing attack over the first two games, but has inexplicably not thrown the ball to All-American tight end Evan Engram. Engram only has 1 catch for 5 yards on the season so far, after being the Rebels' top option last season following the loss of Treadwell. Engram is a mismatch for linebackers that could cause fits for the Tide for the second year in a row.
On the offensive line, the Rebels have a solid-but-not-spectacular interior. However, elite left tackle Laremy Tunsil is in the midst of NCAA investigations and may not play Saturday. If that is the case, right tackle Fahn Cooper will play on the left. Cooper is an experienced, if not exceptionally talented, player that can hold his own. However, redshirt freshman Sean Rawlings has taken Cooper's place at right tackle, and the freshman is a bit green still... Which is not the best of things to be when facing Alabama's vaunted defensive line.
The Rebels employ a high-paced, spread offense designed to attack all areas of the field through the air, and then eat up chunks of yardage on constraint run/screen plays once the defense backs up due to the aerial attack. The Tide just faced the same style of offense last week against MTSU, but Ole Miss has significantly more talent than the Blue Raiders. Expect to see a lot of dime packages and the smaller, quicker defensive lineman and linebacker for most of the game as Alabama tries to match up with the Rebels' speed around the perimeters of the field.