After three games Nick Saban has finally made his decision and named Jalen Milroe as Alabama’s starting quarterback. Last week Milroe did not play a single snap, allowing Tyler Buchner and Ty Simpson an opportunity to win the job. Both players had terrible outings, and Saban determined that Milroe gives the team the best option to win heading into SEC play.
Here are a few things to watch for this Saturday afternoon as the Tide play host to Ole Miss.
After three games Jalen Milroe appears to be the Tide’s best option, and Saban believes it as well. Milroe can give Alabama the highest of highs with his spectacular runs and perfectly thrown deep balls.The biggest concern is Milroe can also provide Alabama with the lowest of lows. Can he do a better job of protecting the football? Turnovers are gonna happen with Milroe and Alabama will just have to live with that. Hopefully the mistakes are limited and the good outweighs the bad.
Dart is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country. On top of being one of the SEC’s most efficient passers so far this season, Dart is also fifth in the SEC in rushing yards. Dart is much improved from last year and much more confident in Lane Kiffin’s offense this season. Alabama struggled some last week with a dual-threat quarterback, and this week they will have to face one that is much better. Containing Dart will be a must for the Alabama defense.
Alabama’s Pass Protection
Last week the Alabama offensive line struggled, allowing five sacks against an inferior South Florida defensive line. This week they are faced against an SEC caliber pass rush that averages five sacks per game. Left guard Tyler Booker missed last week with back spasms and the left side of the Alabama line was noticeably affected. Booker, the leader on the Bama offensive line, is expected to play Saturday and should help lift the Crimson Tide to a higher level of play.
Not only will Ole Miss be the best offense the Crimson Tide has faced this season, they bring a different style of offense to defend against. The Rebels run the hurry up offense and have a dual-threat quarterback. These are two of the things that a Saban defense generally struggles with. So far this season, the Alabama defense has been a pretty solid unit. The game will be determined by how well the Crimson Tide defense can contain Ole Miss’ quarterback Jaxson Dart.
Can Lane Kiffin finally get over the hump and beat his former boss? Kiffin is 0-3 so far against Nick Saban, but he has had a couple games where he was very close to pulling off the upset. This year he is in as good of a position as he has ever been. Kiffin has the better quarterback, a former defensive coordinator on his staff and an Alabama team that is under-performing. Kiffin wants this win badly, but can he control himself from making bad choices like going for it on fourth down inside his own territory to get the win?
Alabama will open up SEC play on Saturday when it hosts Ole Miss at 2:30 p.m. CT inside Bryant-Denny Stadium.
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