Friday, September 30, 2022

Hall: Rebels Look to Defeat Alabama With or Without Tunsil

15360914078_798e7887a3_o
Ole Miss Rebels vs. Alabama Crimson Tide at the University of Mississippi’s Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in 2014. (HottyToddy.com file photo)

This weekend Ole Miss is playing against Alabama. Finally, SEC football is back — no more small school opponents. Now the Rebels get a chance to measure how magical of a season this could be against Nick Saban’s squad.

10019471
Laremy Tunsil (Photo Courtesy olemisssports.com)

I believe that Coach Saban has constantly reminded his team of last year’s loss in Oxford and will have the Tide ready to rumble come Saturday night. However, the Ole Miss team is facing a bigger problem than getting ready for the game in Tuscaloosa. The team’s best offensive lineman, and arguably its best player, Laremy Tunsil has yet to play a game this season.

With the NCAA looking into possible allegations, it appears that Tunsil’s eligibility is in jeopardy. Although his two game absence has been self imposed by Ole Miss, no one knows for sure if he will be playing this weekend or not.

Without Tunsil at left tackle, it leaves the offensive line in a position of playing inexperienced and injured players. Alabama returns seven starters on defense and the defensive line is as good as ever. Which leads to this question: Can Ole Miss’s offensive line, without Tunsil, protect the quarterback and create lanes for the running game? This is not necessarily a question pertaining to just this game, but rather the entire season.

Nevertheless, with the emergence of Chad Kelly at quarterback and his ability to throw the ball down the field, Ole Miss has a chance to win in Tuscaloosa. After allowing an average of 12 points in the past two games against Tennessee-Martin and Fresno State, the Rebel defense also gives reasons for optimism.

Alabama’s starting quarterback Jacob Coker has looked less than impressive in the Tide’s outings against Wisconsin and Middle Tennessee.

Ole Miss has a talented enough defensive line to rattle Coker and force him into mistakes, but can they stop the Tide’s fearsome run game? If Derrick Henry and company are contained, it is not far-fetched to assume that Ole Miss has much more than a chance to beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa. With advantages in key position matchups, a victory against the Crimson Tide could prove vital for a magical fall in Oxford.


Young Hall is a reporter and sports commentator for HottyToddy.com. Email him at yhhall@gmail.com

84,459FansLike
20,500FollowersFollow
14,100FollowersFollow
//The following lines allow infolinks to place their ads - Inserted 6/17/2022 // End infolinks tracing pixel