CATEGORY: FOC College Football
ALABAMA VISIT TAKES ON A WHOLE NEW MEANING
By Todd Vinyard
Alabama is trying to stop a two-game losing streak and coming off a 17-point loss.
Ole Miss is ranked 25th in the country by the Associated Press after defeating then eighth-ranked LSU 36-21 last week.
Rebels coach Tommy Tuberville says not to expect the sudden shift in college football's world order to mean Ole Miss forgets where it came from or how it got there.
"We go to Auburn and play real well and that was an emotional win to play them well on TV," Tuberville said. "We go to Tennessee and play them down to 7 points with 3 minutes to go in the game and that was an emotional win for us. Winning the game (against LSU) and getting over the hump will co-relate to those two games. Our guys know that we still have long ways to go."
"W's" for wins, not "EW's" as in emotional wins, are what Ole Miss is looking for beginning at 11:30 a.m., today in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium when Alabama visits. The game will be televised by Jefferson-Pilot (WCBI-Columbus) and marks the fourth time this season Ole Miss, now 4-2 overall and 2-2 in the SEC, has appeared on television.
Alabama has won the last six games in this series. Tide coach Mike DuBose says this is a new Rebel team thanks to depth and confidence.
"Their beating LSU probably was good for us, because it gets your players attention," DuBose said.
Alabama's start certainly has DuBose's attention. The Tide is 3-3 overall and 1-3 in the SEC. Just when the Tide got over the loss of linebacker Michael Myers they had to suspend two other players Friday. Cornerback Michael Feagin and tailback Antoneyo Williams have been suspended by DuBose for unspecified team rule violations.
Feagin has played in every game this season with six tackles. Williams has not played in a game this season.
"We need to block and tackle better, especially tackle better," DuBose said. "We also could use a little bit of luck."
Ole Miss knows they could use the same strong line play on both sides of the ball they got against LSU last week. The Rebels rolled up 488 yards of total offense and had six sacks from the defense against LSU.
"We are playing together as a unit more," Rebels center Matt Luke said. "There is not as much feeling around. We know what to do now. Don't get me wrong. There is still a lot of room for improvement. We are making mistakes, but we are doing a lot of good things. We have to keep that up."
Besides wondering if Ole Miss can come back to earth and play Alabama one week after the LSU upset, the biggest question seems to be, "Will it rain?" The National Weather Service says today should be partly cloudy with a chance of showers in the afternoon and high's in the mid 70's.