Lane Kiffin and the Ole Miss Rebels will take on Kiffin’s former boss Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday. Kiffin served as the offensive coordinator at Alabama from 2014-2016 before becoming the head coach at Florida Atlantic University.
At a press conference on Monday, Kiffin did not seem optimistic about his chances against Saban.
“Everyone thinks it’s an advantage that I’ve worked with (Saban). But if it’s an advantage, why is he 20-0 against his former assistants? If you think it’s an advantage, you’re not a very good gambler,” Kiffin said.
Coming off the heels of a tough overtime victory against a run heavy Kentucky offense, the Rebels’ defense will see something similar to the passing scheme they saw in week one against the University of Florida. Last week, Alabama quarterback Mac Jones threw for 435 yards with four touchdowns.
With the Rebel defensive struggling heavily against the run and the pass this season, it is likely that Alabama will put up a lot of points on Saturday, similarly to how they did against Texas A&M last week.
The Daily Mississippian spoke with Crimson White sports reporter Robert Cortez about his expectations for the upcoming game.
“I don’t think Bama needs to be afraid of anything. Player for player, Bama is better than Ole Miss, and that shows, but I think people should look out for trick plays and special offensive schemes from Lane Kiffin. The Bama defense has shown some lapses, and using these trick plays or special offensive schemes is a way that Kiffin will try and exploit that.”
Robert also predicted that the game would be 35-10 Bama in the first half, and 42-23 at the end.
When it comes to this week, the Crimson Tide offense has proven itself on multiple occasions and should have no problem putting up 50 or even 60 points against the lacking Rebel defense.
The defensive players will likely try the best they can to prevent 50 points from Bama, but the reality setting in for Ole Miss is that this may just not be the year for an upset.
Kiffin never got the chance to get a solid recruiting class before this fall, but with the recruiting period now in full swing, Ole Miss is making every effort to grab defensive players.
When it comes to the Ole Miss offense, fans and pundits expect more implementation of the run game. Neither Snoop Conner nor Jerrion Ealy, who are effectively splitting snaps at starting running back, have had a chance to break free in the open field yet.
It is also likely that Kiffin will implement some of the dual-quarterback sets with Plumlee and Corral on the field to throw off the often-disorganized Alabama defense.
Kickoff will occur at 5 p.m. at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, and the game will be broadcast live on ESPN.