Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
While it was Mississippi that pitched a shutout last week, it’s top-ranked Alabama’s defense that has been generating headlines in 2012. The Crimson Tide were dominant yet again in last week’s 40-7 trouncing of Florida Atlantic, only yielding a touchdown in the final minutes of the game long after the starters had been pulled. Although a late score ended the team’s scoreless streak at 192:25, Alabama has shown virtually no signs of weakness en route to its fifth consecutive 4-0 start. On Saturday, the Tide will host a reinvigorated Mississippi team that has already surpassed its win total following a nightmarish 2-10 campaign. Under new coach Hugh Freeze, the Rebels are 3-1 for the first time since 2009 after last Saturday’s 39-0 victory over winless Tulane. The win was a nice bounceback after Ole Miss’ 66-31 home loss to No. 10 Texas the previous week.
ABOUT MISSISSIPPI (3-1, 0-0 SEC): The Rebels’ conference-best rushing offense (259.8 yards per game) is ranked 11th in the country and churned out 304 yards in last week’s romp over the Green Wave, but will be severely tested by an Alabama defense allowing 62.3 rushing yards per game – the sixth-lowest mark in the country. QB Bo Wallace – the team’s second-leading rusher – left in the third quarter of last week’s game due to a shoulder injury but is expected to start.
ABOUT ALABAMA (4-0, 1-0 SEC): The Tide have been successful on all 18 of their trips inside the red zone this season, scoring 14 touchdowns and four field goals. Conversely, their opponents have been successful on just two of their five trips inside the 20. Over its last 18 contests against FBS opponents, Alabama has allowed only 46.5 rushing yards per game, holding seven of those opponents to 39 yards or less. Only twice has an opponent even rushed for more than 100 yards during that stretch.
1. Alabama has won the last eight meetings. Ole Miss hasn’t prevailed at Bryant-Denny Stadium since 1998.
2. The Tide hold a 48-9-2 advantage over the Rebels all-time, including a 24-1 mark in Tuscaloosa.
3. Ole Miss has dropped 10 straight against ranked opponents, with seven of those losses coming by at least 13 points.