In a highly anticapted showdown between SEC West division rivals, No. 1 Alabama left no doubt over who the superior team was in a 42-21 drubbing of No. 12 Ole Miss. Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban bests Lane Kiffin again, meaning Saban’s perfect record against former assistants is intact.
The Rebels entered this contest with the Heisman Trophy favorite in quarterback Matt Corral, but Alabama’s defense completely shut him down. It didn’t help that the Rebels failed to convert on short yardage fourth downs multiple times, setting up Alabama from the Ole Miss 27 at one point. The Rebels turned the ball over three times in their own territory during the game.
Bryce Young, second to Corral in the Heisman race, had a strong game. He finished 20/26 for 241 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. It appears Alabama isn’t going to have many challengers ahead of what is likely to be a conference title game against No. 2 Georgia, so Young has several chances to pad his numbers and take over as Heisman favorite down the stretch.
The Crimson Tide will face a ranked Texas A&M Aggies team next week before two lighter games against Mississippi State and Tennessee. Alabama then gets to the business end of the division schedule with LSU, Arkansas and Auburn making up three of the final four games. The College Football Playoff seems imminent, even if Bama loses to Georgia in the SEC title game.
The Rebels still have the opportunity to put up a banner season for Kiffin. Ole Miss has a tricky game against Arkansas next week and then gets Tennessee, LSU and Auburn before a non-conference game with Liberty. The College Football Playoff has gone out the window but there’s still the possibility of playing in a big-time bowl game.