Alabama Crimson Tide Vs. Ole Miss Rebels: Bold Predictions For Week 3 Of 2016 College Football Season
Week 1 of the 2016 college football season was filled with madness. While Week 2 didn’t have as many meaningful matchups, Week 3 will provide many showdowns once again. One of those showdowns will take place when the Alabama Crimson Tide take on the Ole Miss Rebels.
While Ole Miss was handed a loss in its first game of 2016, it can get back in the College Football Playoff picture by knocking off Alabama. After all, Alabama is still the No. 1-ranked team in the nation. Meanwhile, the Rebels are ranked as high as No. 17.
Ole Miss might be the underdog entering this contest, but fans can’t forget that the Rebels pulled off the major upset against the Crimson Tide last season and the season before that. In terms of this year’s SEC showdown, Ole Miss will get Alabama at home.
Based off of recent history alone, the Rebels are more than capable of knocking off the mighty Alabama Crimson Tide. To spice things up for one of the biggest games of Week 3, let’s add some bold predictions to the mix.
Chad Kelly Has An Up-And-Down Game — To Say The Least
Entering the 2016 college football season, Chad Kelly had Heisman contender written all over him. Although that is still the case entering Week 3, another loss to Kelly’s Rebels would seriously hurt his Heisman chances.
Ole Miss was dominating the Florida State Seminoles in the first game of the season, and Kelly was magnificent in the first half, but the momentum of the game completely changed in the second half. The Rebels ended up squandering a huge lead and went down to the Seminoles.
If Ole Miss has any chance of knocking off the Alabama Crimson Tide for a third straight season, Kelly has to come up big in all four quarters. Unfortunately, Alabama is known to have one of the best defenses in the country (it only allowed six points against the USC Trojans), and Nick Saban will likely be more prepared for Kelly this time around.
Kelly still has the talent to make the big plays, and he went off against the Crimson Tide in 2015 with 341 passing yards and four total touchdowns, but he will have an up-and-down game thanks to Alabama being more prepared for him. This will result in Kelly throwing at least two interceptions, but don’t be surprised if he throws at least two touchdowns and runs for another one in the process.
Jalen Hurts Looks Like A Heisman Contender
Jalen Hurts had a masterful performance against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in Week 2 as he racked up 287 passing yards and two touchdowns. Just in case fans missed it, and according to Tide Sports, Hurts “became the first true freshman to start at quarterback for the University of Alabama since 1984.”
As the season progresses, Hurts should build more and more confidence, which means bad news for the rest of the country.
Assuming Hurts gets the nod to start against Ole Miss, look for him to rack up the stats early and often, and to look like a Heisman contender in the process. No, that does not mean he will be a Heisman finalist, it just means he will gain some serious buzz after this SEC showdown. At least three touchdown passes sounds about right for the Crimson Tide.
This prediction is scribbled in bold because Hurts is a freshman, but it can happen. He did have four total touchdowns against USC, after all.
Alabama Has This Contest Locked Up Entering The Fourth Quarter
While the Rebels have the talent and quarterback power to knock off any team in the country, they will be going up against the defending national champs in Week 3. Playing on the road and gaining some momentum after a victory in Week 2 will help, but don’t be surprised when the Crimson Tide are firing on all cylinders in this crucial contest.
The major stat that will come into play for this one is the fact that Alabama is only allowing 8.0 points per game while Ole Miss is giving up 29 points per game.
This showdown very well could go down to the wire, but the Crimson Tide will have things locked up entering the fourth quarter. As a result, Kelly’s Heisman hopes and Ole Miss’ College Football Playoff chances will take a major hit.
[Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]