The Alabama Crimson Tide are currently the No. 1 ranked team in the nation heading into Week 3 of the 2016 college football season. It appears that Nick Saban has yet another serious championship contender on his hands. His team opened the season with a 52-6 victory over a USC Trojans team that was ranked No. 20 at the time, proving that they were a team to beat right off the bat.
Last week, the Crimson Tide easily took care of business and defeated the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers by a final score of 38-10. They are without question one of the favorites to win the National Championship this season, and many would go so far as to say they are the main favorite.
Looking ahead to Week 3 action, the Crimson Tide will have to go up against the No. 19 ranked Ole Miss Rebels.
Alabama was ranked as one of the top five upset games to watch in Week 3 by a previous Inquisitr article.
Each of the last two seasons, Ole Miss has been able to knock off the Crimson Tide. Last year, in particular, the Rebels walked into Alabama territory and defeated them by a final score of 43-37. It isn’t going to be an easy game this year, as Chad Kelly and company strongly believe that they can shock the No. 1-ranked team in the country once again.
All of that being said, what five things to do the Crimson Tide need to do in order to knock off Ole Miss and remain as the No. 1 seed in the nation?
Alabama Must Put Pressure on Chad Kelly Early and Often
Chad Kelly is capable of putting up huge numbers for the Rebels if the Crimson Tide allow him time. He has also been known to make mistakes at times when under pressure. Saban and the Alabama coaching staff must put pressure on Kelly early and often this week.
Jalen Hurts Must Take Care of the Football
Starting a freshman quarterback can be a very dangerous thing against a team like Ole Miss. Jalen Hurts is a very talented quarterback, but the Rebels will do everything they can to force him out of his comfort zone. No matter what happens, Hurts must take care of the football.
Establish the Running Game Immediately
In order to take pressure off of the young quarterback Hurts, the Crimson Tide must establish the running game immediately. Whether they hand the football to Bo Scarbrough or Damien Harris, they need production on the ground. Ole Miss is a tough defense to run against, but the Crimson Tide must find a way to do so.
Limit the Big Passing Plays from Ole Miss
Outside of putting pressure on Chad Kelly, the Crimson Tide have to limit the big passing plays that the Rebels always seem to come up with. Ole Miss thrives on big plays, and if Alabama can shut them down, the Rebels are going to have a tough time scoring. Alabama’s defense is capable of shutting down big plays, and they need to prove it now more than ever.
Perfect Execution in the Fourth Quarter
There aren’t many in the media who believe either team will win this game in blowout fashion. Almost everyone agrees that this game will come down to the wire. Alabama must execute perfectly in the fourth quarter, and if they do, they will come away with a victory.
Expect to see these two teams battle to the death on Saturday afternoon. They will both bring a little extra to the storied rivalry game as well. Alabama is the better team on paper, but they must execute in order to pick up the win.
Do you think the Alabama Crimson Tide will end up defeating the Ole Miss Rebels this week? What are your final score predictions for the game? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Featured Image by Brynn Anderson/AP Images]