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Jumbo Package: Rain will put a damper on the Saban-Kiffin Bowl

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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: Texas A&M at Alabama John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, everyone. Your Ole Miss previews:

And here we go. It’s Lane Kiffin vs. Nick Saban, but the big dog has the talent on his side of the field.

It’s not like both coaching staffs don’t go full out every week, but this one is a wee bit different. Both offenses will work, both passing games will be great, and there will be a moment when it looks like the Rebels might be able to do something special, and then the talent will take over.

Alabama 45, Ole Miss 27

It seems like the consensus around the country is that Saban will try to run it up on his former offensive coordinator because, let’s be honest, their relationship didn’t end on a high note. I don’t see that happening, though. In fact, I see the opposite. Don’t get me wrong ... this is a dial-a-score game for the Crimson Tide. But there are three reasons why Ole Miss will cover: the coach, the players and the weather. Saban knows that Kiffin is a brilliant offensive mind and that he has explosive players to work with. He also knows that Hurricane Delta will present some major problems and make this a sloppy game. Translation: He’s going to want to get out of there as quickly and safely as possible. Pick: Ole Miss (+23)

Another storyline involves the quarterbacks — the Tide’s Mac Jones and the Rebels’ Matt Corral. Jones leads the country in passing efficiency, and Corral is third.

In a loss to Florida and a win against Kentucky, Corral has completed 76.7 percent of his passes for 715 yards with seven touchdowns and one interception.

“(Corral) is a really, really good player,” Saban said. “He’s very athletic. He can make plays with his feet, present a lot of problems in terms of how they’re playing on offense.”

“Great players, great coaches,” Kiffin said. “Elite program. That’s where we want to be someday. Good for our kids to see what it looks like. Go execute and see what can happen.”

That’s a long-range statement with a great deal of recruiting success involved. This year, Ole Miss has a puncher’s chance at best because of Kiffin’s offensive acumen and a curse that Alabama has been less susceptible to in recent seasons: a talented quarterback. The Rebels have one in Matt Corral, the unexpected trivia answer to the question, “Who currently leads the SEC in quarterback rating?” Not Kyle Trask or Mac Jones, but Matt Corral

High-flying offenses are sexy, sell tickets and can be a whole lotta fun to watch. That’s what this one will show, for sure. It should be basketball on grass. These two offenses are electric, with a handful of future NFL stars and they should put on a great show.

The Crimson Tide certainly have the chance to be the more effective defense, which is what gives them the decided edge.

Alabama 56, Ole Miss 38

Since they decided to play this one in the slog, I have a feeling that Saban is going to lean hard on the running game. Ole Miss doesn’t have that luxury. Because of the conditions, I think the Tide fails to cover the huge 23 point spread this week. Call it 38-17, and lmove on to Georgia.

Of course, that is just my opinion. Vote and give us yours in the comments.

Poll

What will be the results of Alabama at Ole Miss?

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    Raindrops fall on Lane’s head, his eyes turn red. Bama covers 23.
    (302 votes)
  • 53%
    Kiffin has a couple of tricks up his sleeve, Alabama by 10-22
    (450 votes)
  • 9%
    Too close for comfort, Alabama by 9 or less
    (78 votes)
  • 1%
    Ole Miss pulls the huge upset (FLAGGED!)
    (12 votes)
842 votes total Vote Now

Saban was candid about some areas of opportunity on “Hey, Coach!”

— Asked about practice this week, Saban said the week has been “very challenging” for the defense because of Ole Miss’ offensive tempo. Saban explained it is hard to simulate the speed in practice and still show the scout team its play card.

— “We’re not really where we need to be as a team yet,” Saban said. “We still need to focus on what we need to do to improve. How we can play a little better, more consistently.” Saban wants his players to have “energy and enthusiasm” about what they’re doing. “Some players respond very well to it, some players not as well as you like,” he said.

Saban also mentioned that he enjoyed doing his show in person again rather than virtual. While the conditions will make passing the ball a challenge, the Ole Miss passing attack can exploit mistakes in the secondary. Time for those dudes to jell.

Last, a name that many Alabama fans have fawned over during basketball coaching searches is likely to find himself out of work.

Marshall told senior center Jamie Echenique, who is from Colombia, that he would be “a great coffee bean picker” because Echenique struggled at times catching the ball.

When freshman forward Josaphat Bilau collapsed after running sprints during a workout in the preseason of 2019 and needed assistance from the training staff, Marshall mocked Bilau by falling down on the court. Marshall then also stumbled around as if he was disoriented. “He tries to intimidate and bully people,” said a former assistant. “It’s mostly just horrible verbal abuse.”

During a practice in 2018, Marshall demanded that junior forward Morris Udeze say he himself was “stupid” after Marshall said Udeze ran a play incorrectly. “Morris wouldn’t say it,” a player said. “So we had to run.” Udeze previously had put his name in the transfer portal but ultimately decided to stay at Wichita State.

Erik Stevenson was wide open and didn’t shoot the ball one day in practice this past season. The player closing out on him defensively was black. While in film session, Marshall paused the film. “I think you’re afraid of brothers, guys raised by their grandparents eating PB&J’s.” One black player told Stadium he felt that was a racist remark.

Multiple players say that he punched forward Shaq Morris in the head at practice, then issued a half-assed apology only after the team threatened to boycott practice. Looks like the Tide dodged a bullet here, folks.

That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.

Roll Tide.