Second place Alabama took Olemis 63-48 in the Saturday night shootout in Oxford, Mississippi. It was the first match between legendary Alabama manager Nick Savan and his former assault coordinator Lane Kipin to lead Olemis in December 2019.
Nazi Harris hit a 16-yard touchdown run at 7:01 in the fourth quarter, and the overnight exposed Alabama defense got a desperately needed stop to force an Olemis field goal on an ongoing drive. Give Crimson Tide some breathing space. Wide receiver DeVonta Smith scored in a jet sweep at 3:16 outside 14 yards, playing for the tide.
Alabama quarterback Mac Jones led the Crimson Tide by passing 28 out of 32 matches over 417 yards, while Harris flaunted the Heisman Trophy with 206 yards and five touchdowns. Game away.
But Alabama’s defense was set on fire by Kiffin and Co. Rebels climbed 647 yards, switched a third down on 9/17, and scored 4 downs to 4/4 in a game that looked like basketball on the grass. Alabama has given up at least 42 points three times in the last eight matches, so it doesn’t happen just once. Prior to that, he allowed at least 42 points three times in the last 65 matches. In the AP Top 25 era (since 1936), Alabama vs. unranked teams scored the most. Also, Alabama has the highest score allowed by Saban.
It’s important to give credit where you need it. Snoop Connor posted a career top of 128 yards and two touchdowns, while Jerrion Ealy added 120 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Matt Corral, who won the off-season battle against John Rhys Plumlee, hit 365 yards and two touchdowns with a come-out party for California Natives.
1,370 yards is the largest single match in SEC history.
Let’s analyze the main findings from Oxford’s wilderness.
Nazi Harris is a monster
Senior went through the NFL draft and returned to Tuscaloosa to win another national title. He’s running like that.
It’s not just statistics. Of course, they are crazy. But he showed off everything in his arsenal on Saturday: balance, vision, explosiveness, heart and strength. In short, he is Alabama this year. When Tide had to play, they turned 22nd in crimson and white.
When the defense starts to grow Harris, all Jones will do is reveal the pace. You can’t slow Jones and his talented broad group of receivers without opening the box. It’s time for Harris to shine.
The only way to beat Alabama this year is for hot play callers like Kiffin to skillfully use their horses like world champion chess players. And it happened almost Saturday.
The same goes for Mac Jones.
Remember when the Alabama Quarterback was a game manager and was in danger of losing a job to a true freshman, Bryce Young? It seems to have been a long time ago.
Jones has a lot of weapons, but he consistently puts the ball where his receiver can catch it all season. DeVonta Smith and John Metchie III were two of his favorite goals against the Rebels, especially after Jaylen Waddle limped off the field in the second quarter.
Yes, it was against Olemis and yes, the rebels are not very interested in defense. However, after replacing Tua Tagovailoa, it is clear that Tide did not miss a moment.
Kiffin returns with authority
Let’s be real what happened on Saturday night. Kiffin coached the circle around Saban. From the moment the rebels received the opening kick-off, the pupil put the teacher on the ropes and never looked back. Well, I was the killer in this shootout until a bad snap ended an Ole Miss drive within the 25 yard line and forced a field goal.
Let’s turn it forward. Keepin is dangerous. Very dangerous.
Ealy, Connor, Corral and wide receiver Elijah Moore are all young stars inherited from the Matt Luke regime. Imagine what will come.
Kiffin’s coaching ability has been (unnecessarily) questioned over the past decade. I did not recruit. High school talent in Mississippi has improved, his programs are suddenly attractive again, and Kiffin has built a reputation in the recruitment process.
Miss Olleh is back…
Alabama’s defense is a huge problem.
Not only is he one of the best offensive coaches in the United States, but it’s one thing to work as an Olemis Offensive with playmakers throughout the field. It’s another thing for Olemis to work after giving up 5.15 yards per play in the first two matches of a season against Missouri and Texas A&M.
The opposing offensive coordinator will notice one thing that harassed Crimson Tide on Saturday and one that has been problematic throughout Saban’s career. Tempo is the problem. The rebels continued to rush to the Screamy Line, especially inside the Red Zone, to force matchup issues against tide defenses struggling to stand in line.
This is not something you can fix overnight. Of course, Saban and defensive coordinator Pete Golding can tell you that whenever an offense pushes the tempo, your defense aligns to your base defense. Is it still important? Tide has shown that he can’t handle speed and wrong direction, especially if a good play caller has multiple weapons in the backfield.
‘Enough’ defense wins the championship
America’s best line of defense will be the same days Alabama did on Saturday night. Okay, maybe not That’s it Like Alabama, but the night will not come.
Alabama had a really rest night against Olemis, but still Connor was defeated by 2 yards and Olemis hurriedly threw a snap at 6:55 to determine a field goal. That was it. It has been recognized as “good enough” defense.
Of course, that definition will change weekly depending on various factors. The best team (the team at the championship level) adapts. Alabama did that against Olemis.