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poison As the Alabama offense continues to pile up points and yardage by land and air, the Crimson Tide faithful are beholding balance not seen at the Capstone in decades.

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2009 Schedule Date

Opponent

Result

9/05/09

Virginia Tech

W 34-24

9/12/09

Florida International

W 40-14

9/19/09

North Texas

W 53-7

9/26/09

Arkansas

W 35-7

10/03/09

Kentucky

W 38-20

Date

Opponent

Location

GameDay Publish Date

10/10/09 Ole Miss

Oxford, Miss.

10/07/09

10/17/09 South Carolina

Tuscaloosa

10/16/09

10/24/09 Tennessee

Tuscaloosa

10/23/09

11/07/09 LSU

Tuscaloosa

11/06/09

11/14/09 Mississippi State Starkville, Miss. 11/12/09 11/21/09 UT Chattanooga

Tuscaloosa

11/20/09

11/27/09 Auburn

Auburn

11/24/09


ON THE INSIDE

GameDay 2009 • October 7

1

Stat of the

week The Crimson Tide has won the last five games in the Alabama vs. Ole Miss series, but have won each of the last four matchups by an average winning margin of 3.25 points per game.

4 | PICK YOUR POISON

GAME INFORMATION

After riding a 12-2 season in 2008 on the strength of the run, this year’s Crimson Tide has found that balance is the key. By Spencer White

CW | Jerrod Seaton

3 | PLAYSTATION SIMULATION

8 | BUY OR SELL

Alabama running back Mark Ingram had a career day as the Crimson Tide whipped the Rebels in the simulation.

Which division is the toughest in the country? Is Iowa for real? Find the answers in this week’s “Buy or Sell” section.

By Will Nevin

9 | ETCHED IN STONE

13 | POSITION MATCHUPS

Paul William Bryant’s first Crimson Tide championship squad was led by the only player in Alabama history who could make the Bear cry.

This could be the first time since Virginia Tech that the Tide sees equality on the other side of the ball at many positions.

By Spencer White

Alabama Crimson Tide (5-0) vs. Ole Miss Rebels (3-1)

• Field: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium • Place: Oxford, Miss. • Time: 2:30 p.m. • TV: CBS • Radio: 1420 AM (Eli Gold, play-by-play; Phil Savage, color analyst; Barry Krauss, sideline reporter)

GAMEDAY STAFF • Jason Galloway, GameDay editor • Spencer White, GameDay assistant editor • Amanda Peterson, editor-in-chief • Will Nevin, managing editor • Brandee Easter, design editor • Emily Johnson, assistant design editor • Aaron Gertler, graphics editor • Jerrod Seaton, photo editor • Katie Bennett, assistant photo editor Cover photos: Jerrod Seaton Cover graphics: Aaron Gertler

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2

PICKS, POLLS AND PERSPECTIVE

October 7 • GameDay 2009

CW PICKS | WEEK 6 Jason Galloway

Spencer White

Cyrus Ntakirutinka

Aaron Gertler

Amanda Peterson

GameDay editor

Asst. GameDay editor

Senior sports reporter

Graphics editor

CW editor

21-14

21-14

21-14

17-18

21-14

Will Nevin

Drew Gunn

CW managing editor Advertising manager

#3 Bama at #20 Ole Miss #1 Florida at #4 LSU #21 Nebraska at #24 Missouri #22 Georgia Tech at FSU Georgia at Tennessee Michigan at #12 Iowa Wisconsin at #9 Ohio State Season record

the

student

SECTION

UA students talk about their expectations for the upcoming Crimson Tide game. CW | Tori Gordon

Cassie Godwin Senior Exercise science

Tyler Guice Junior Communications

“I think that Alabama is too good for Ole Miss ... It is a definite win.”

“I think we will go into Oxford and take care of business.”

AP POLL

22-13

21-14

COACHESʼ POLL

1. Florida (54)

1. Florida (57)

2. Texas (1)

2. Texas (1)

3. Alabama (5)

3. Alabama (1)

4. LSU

4. LSU

5. Virginia Tech

5. Virginia Tech

6. Boise State

6. Boise State

7. USC

7. USC

8. Cincinnati

8. Ohio State

9. Ohio State

9. TCU

10. TCU

10. Cincinnati

11. Miami

11. Miami

12. Iowa

12. Penn State

Joshua Austello Freshman Business

Stayler Heath Freshman Biology

13. Oregon

13. Oklahoma State

14. Penn State

14. Iowa

“Bama will win by two touchdowns.”

“They donʼt stand a chance.”

15. Oklahoma State

15. Kansas

16. Kansas

16. Mississippi

17. Auburn

17. Oregon

18. BYU

18. Missouri

19. Oklahoma

19. Auburn

20. Mississippi

20. BYU

21. Nebraska

21. Oklahoma

22. Georgia Tech

22. Nebraska

23. South Florida

23. Georgia Tech

24. Missouri

24. South Florida

25. South Carolina

25. Wisconsin

Amy Peck Freshman Communicative disorders

Joseph Randel Junior Chemistry

“It will be the hardest game weʼve played, but weʼll come out with a win.

“Domination.”


PS3 SIMULATION

PS3 SAYS | ALABAMA 39, OLE MISS 15 BY WILL NEVIN Managing Editor Using a 22-point fourth quarter and a 200-yard, four-touchdown performance by star running back Mark Ingram to overcome a big day by quarterback Jevan Snead, the Crimson Tide beat the Ole Miss Rebels 39-15 to remain undefeated in Southeastern Conference play. The game started slow, with the Rebels getting on the board in the first quarter with two field goals, the second of which was set up by a NCAA 2010 screenshot Greg McElroy interception. The Tide answered Cornerback Kareem Jackson records the first of with a touchdown in the second quarter to go up his two interceptions in the Tideʼs 39-15 victory. one point at 7-6, but Ole Miss responded with a One included a 105-yard touchdown return. 56-yard field goal that almost hit Biloxi to retake the lead. short of the Ole Miss goal line. Ingram, however, With time ticking down in the half, Alabama would not be denied as he dove into the endzone went into its hurry-up offense and drove the ball for his fourth touchdown, and the Tide convertto the Ole Miss 9-yard line before kicking a field ed the two-point play. Defensive back Kareem goal to go into the locker room at halftime up Jackson capped off the scoring with a 105-yard 10-9. interception return. Mark Ingram scored his second touchdown in The two teams were incredibly close with the third quarter and quickly added another in Alabama gaining 392 yards to the Rebels’ 389 the fourth to put Alabama up 24-9. Snead finally yards. Third-down conversion rates, however, found the endzone on a touchdown pass to wide were remarkably different as the Tide converted receiver Lionel Breaux, but the Rebels failed on 8-of-9 third downs, while Ole Miss only made the 2-point conversion, leaving the score at 24-15. 3-of-9. Ingram then busted off a 91-yard run on the With the win, Alabama improves to 5-1 (3-0) on next Alabama possession, but he was stopped the simulated season.

GameDay 2009 • October 7

3

SIMULATION STATISTICS

Alabama

• Passing: Greg McElroy, 11-of-19, 187 yds, 2 INT • Rushing: Mark Ingram, 26 rushes, 205 yds, 4 TD • Receiving: Julio Jones, 4 receptions, 67 yds

• Top Defensive Performer: Kareem Jackson, 2 tackles, 2 INT, TD return

Ole Miss • Passing: Jevan Snead, 23-of-34, 290 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT • Rushing: Brandon Bolden, 14 rushes, 85 yds

• Receiving: Lionel Breaux, 6 receptions, 75 yds, 1 TD • Top Defensive Performer: Kendrick Lewis, 7 tackles


Running back Mark Ingram stiff-arms a Kentucky defender in Alabama始s victory over the Wildcats last week. The Crimson Tide could have the most balanced offense Alabama has ever seen. CW | Jerrod Seaton


Gridiron

G N I C N A L A B A C T

With the Tide offense churning out yards on the ground and through the air, this 2009 unit has a chance to be the best the Capstone has ever produced. Loaded with playmakers all over the ďŹ eld, how the offense continues to produce will be a major factor in evaluating Alabama’s chances at a BCS berth. BY SPENCER WHITE Assistant GameDay Editor


6

October 7 • GameDay 2009

t’s an ingredient that a championship team almost always has. Since the 2005 Texas Longhorns captured the BCS national title, three of the four national championship squads have achieved their success behind a similar formula of offensive strategy; effectively mixing the run and the pass, keeping defenses unable to plan a game around one offensive weapon. The Longhorns, along with the 2007 LSU Tigers and the 2008 Florida Gators, all had offensive balance. On average, each team’s production numbers for the game were never farther than 30 yards apart. By following this system, confounded opponents were unable to slow the teams down as they marched to championship glory. The No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide, through a 5-0 start, has shown it can be one of these teams. Head coach Nick Saban’s squad has been successful both on the ground and through the air, with the Tide averaging 228.2 rushing yards per game, combined with 234.6 passing yards per game. In the illustrious history of the Alabama program, which includes 12 national championships, 21 SEC championships and countless AllAmericans, no Tide team has ever averaged more than 200 yards per game in both rushing and passing. “I think we’re going to have to throw the ball and have good balance in our offense to be an effective offense,” Saban said. As Tide fans watched their 2008 squad march through an

I

undefeated regular season behind the powerful rushing game of Glen Coffee, Mark Ingram and Roy Upchurch, the more knowledgeable fans began to wonder: If someone stops the running game, can the Tide win with the pass? Late season losses to Florida and Utah proved that it could not. With the running lanes closed and John Parker Wilson forced to win for Alabama, the senior simply could not, throwing four interceptions and only one touchdown. The 2008 Tide did not possess the weapons in the passing game necessary to withstand the full rigors of championship football. From all indicators so far in the 2009 season, this squad does. “The offense all works together,” said wide receiver Earl Alexander. “We’ve just to keep clicking and working together.” It was seen in the 35-7 victory over Arkansas. The Razorback defense sold out to stop the run, routinely stacking eight men in the box and leaving single coverage on the Alabama receivers, forced Greg McElroy to beat them through the air. McElroy was happy to oblige, connecting on two touchdown passes of more than 50 yards en route to a huge 291-yard show in Bryant-Denny. Against Kentucky on the road last Saturday, with McElroy struggling for the first time since early in the Virginia Tech season opener, it was Ingram who kept the Tide afloat in the first half against a highly motivated Wildcat defense, rushing for 45 yards and a touchdown on only eight touches before finishing the game with

Pinned back to its own quara career-high 140. ter-yard line, and frusThe Tide’s new multitrated by the Wildcats’ faceted look, combined defense all game, with a stout defense, the Tide players turns an already dangathered together gerous team into an to force even bigger threat to teams around the Southeastern Conference. “The more they keep loading the box, the more success [the receivers] will have,” Ingram said. “The more they double team them on the outside, we’re going to be able to run the ball. We’re going to feed off of each other.” Sophomore Julio Jones is no longer the only option at wide receiver. In 2008, while Jones pulled in 58 passes as a true freshman, no other receiver on the Alabama roster had more than 16 catches for the entire season. In 2009, none of the Tide offensive players has more than 14 catches, and eight have averaged at least one per game. “The fact that we have playmakers all over the field and guys who are capable on the field will make it difficult for defenses as far as stopping us,” McElroy said. Against Kentucky, a 97-yard touchdown drive at the end of CW | the first half illustrated every- Jerrod thing new about the Tide offense. Seaton

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GameDay 2009 • October 7 their way down Kentucky’s throat, marching down the field and pushing the score to 14-6 before halftime in a difficult road atmosphere. The composition of the drive? Seven rushes and seven passes. The balance not only allows the Tide to confuse the defense, it eventually wears them out, as they begin blitzing on short passes to stop the run, and covering receivers as Alabama rushes on what seems like a passing down. The approach has paid dividends in the second half, as the Tide has outscored their opponents 99-28 after intermission in the five games of the 2009 season. In the fourth quarter, the numbers are still lopsided. With Alabama has outscored the opposition 48-14, and Kentucky was the only opponent to hold the Tide scoreless in the fourth quarter. “We’re a real physical team,” Ingram said. “The more we hit them in the mouth…that’s when they wear down.” As the opposing defenses tire on the field, the Tide’s score rises on the board. At a scoring average of 40 points per game, Alabama’s

7

offense ranks third in the SEC and eighth in the nation among Football Bowl Subdivision schools. The last time an Alabama squad averaged more than 40 points a game, America was fresh off the end of World War II and Harry S. Truman sat in the White House. In fact, the 1945 squad was the only Crimson Tide team to ever score more than 40 points per game in a season. Other all-time Tide offensive marks are plainly in sight for this Tide squad. McElroy, who has already set the Alabama record for most consecutive completions at 14, and who has currently thrown nine touchdown passes, is on pace to comfortably break John Parker Wilson’s single season passing touchdown record, set at 18 in 2007. With a completion rate a little higher than 65 percent, the junior is also on pace to set the single-season record held by Walter Lewis (62.2 percent) in that category. One of Saban’s tenets throughCW | Katie Bennett out his Alabama career has always been talk of an identity. Perhaps Junior wide receiver Darius Hanks catches a touchdown pass in the with this team, their best identity third quarter of Alabamaʼs 38-20 win over Kentucky last week. Hanks became the sixth Tide player to catch a touchdown this season. is that they have none.


8

BUY OR SELL

October 7 • GameDay 2009 SPENCER WHITE Assistant GameDay Editor

THE SEC WEST IS THE TOUGHEST DIVISION IN FOOTBALL

JASON GALLOWAY GameDay Editor

BUY

BUY

How can you not buy this? Two teams in the top five and four in the top 25. Sure, Ole Miss will probably drop out from its No. 20 spot after this week, but even if LSU loses to Florida, it’s a safe bet at this juncture to think that there is a definite possibility the SEC West could produce three teams with two losses or less. There isn’t another division with that chance.

It’s the bottom three that edges the SEC West over the ACC Coastal. Alabama beats Virginia Tech, Miami beats the SEC West No. 2, Georgia Tech sits pretty even with whoever the SEC West No. 3 would be. But the SEC West No. 4 (LSU, Ole Miss or Auburn), Arkansas and Mississippi State are significantly better than North Carolina, Duke and Virginia.

IOWA WILL BE IN THE ROSE BOWL SELL

SELL

A lackluster start against FCS Northern Iowa had me ready to dismiss the Hawkeyes as simply another middle-of-the-pack Big 10 team. I started to wonder if maybe there would be some magic for Kirk Ferentz after an upset of then-No. 5 Penn State, but Iowa made sure to remind me exactly why Ferentz is not worth his $3 million salary in an uninspired 24-21 victory over Arkansas State.

Iowa’s win over Penn State was impressive, but a three point win over Arkansas State is quite the opposite. The Big 10 is bad, but not bad enough to where its champion sqeaks by Arkansas State. If the Hawkeyes get by Michigan and Wisconsin over the next two weeks though, it is likely that the November 14 matchup between Iowa and Ohio State will be the unofficial Big 10 title game.

Photos: MCT Campus


ETCHED IN STONE | 1961

GameDay 2009 • October 7

9

The Bear’s quarterback By Spencer White Assistant GameDay Editor It all started with a promise. The foundations of Paul William “Bear” Bryant’s first national championship squad at Alabama were not established on the football fields of the Southeastern Conference. Instead, the real beginning of the 1961 team’s journey can be traced to Bryant’s opening meeting with his first class of Alabama freshmen four years earlier. In a room on campus, Bryant stood in front of more than 100 young men, gathered mostly from the state of Alabama. The Tide’s fortunes had fallen in recent years. The 1950s were hard times for the Alabama faithful, who had suffered through an abysmal 8-29-4 record in the four years before Bryant’s arrival. His new recruits watched the Tide blunder through an 0-10 campaign as high school sophomores. Bryant knew this. But he didn’t care. He stood in front of those freshmen and told them he was going to be tough. He said they would go through hell, and he doubted by their senior year there

Bryant Museum Lee Roy Jordan and another Alabama player take a proverbial dip from a bowl of sugar. The Tide would win the 1962 Sugar Bowl 10-3 over Arkansas. would be more than 10 of them. But if they did what we asked of them, they would be national champions.

Pat Trammell, a quarterback

See 1961, page 10


10

October 7 • GameDay 2009

1961

Continued from page 9

from Scottsboro, was among those in attendance. Trammell was a bright student, destined to become a medical doctor, and he had nearly decided to attend Georgia Tech before Bryant convinced him to play for his state school. The decision would change the lives of both player and coach. On the field, Trammell was not an exceptional quarterback. In those days, the quarterback functioned more as the offensive playcaller, directing the running game and only passing when necessary. But as a leader and team captain, there has been no finer man to wear the crimson jersey. Under Trammell’s leadership and the first legendary defense of Bryant’s career at the Capstone, the Tide players would fulfill their brash coach’s promise, compiling a perfect 11-0 record that included a 10-3 victory over the No. 9 Arkansas Razorbacks in the Sugar Bowl. The Tide defense was truly spectacular. Led by All-Americans Billy Neighbors and Lee Roy Jordan, the unit posted six shutouts, including five in a row to end the regular season and surrendered only 25 points the entire year. Bryant later remarked about his defense that they played “like it was a sin to give up a point.” Trammell would receive AllAmerican honors, setting the Alabama single-season passing yardage record with 1,035 yards. It was Trammell who accompanied Bryant to the White House to receive the MacArthur Trophy,

Bryant Museum Paul W. “Bear” Bryant stands with Alabama players in front of the many accolades from the Tideʼs 11-0 national championship season. Second from left is quarterback Pat Trammell, the Bearʼs favorite player. given to the consensus national champions. After an elegant speech given at the award banquet, President John F. Kennedy himself came to UA President Frank Rose’s hotel room to seek out Trammell. Only two years after receiving his M.D., Trammell died of meta-

static testicular cancer in 1968. He was 28 years old. His funeral was standing room only at his home in Scottsboro. After Rose delivered the eulogy, Bryant escorted Trammell’s mother out of the service, tears unashamedly falling down his face. It would be the only time the

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legendary coach would be seen weeping in public. Twelve years later, in an interview for The Birmingham News, Bryant was asked if he had a favorite player in his 35 years as a head coach. His direct response: “Pat Trammell was the favorite person in my entire life.”

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COLUMN

GameDay 2009 • October 7

11

What happened to this game? Remember when this was the one game Alabama was going to lose this season? Remember when Jevan Snead was a Heisman contender? Remember when Greg McElroy was one of the biggest question marks heading into the season? It’s pretty amazing what five weeks can do. Picking Ole Miss to win this game now might as well be considered a heresy, and if anything, McElroy is the Heisman candidate between those two signal callers. The Rebels falsely lingered around the top 5 for three weeks because its only two opponents during that span were Memphis and Southeastern Louisiana. But when Ole Miss lined up against its first Southeastern Conference opponent at South Carolina, the Rebels’ true identity revealed itself. Snead was a pathetic 7-of-21

for only 107 yards, and Ole Miss scored just 10 points on a defense that had surrendered 41 to Georgia JASON GALLOWAY two weeks earlier. GameDay Editor Snead responded with a 19-of-34 performance for 237 yards and three touchdowns last week against Vanderbilt, who has the secondbest pass defense in the country, but he also threw three interceptions and Ole Miss beat the Commodores by just two scores. Alabama, on the other hand, has been arguably the most impressive team in the country. McElroy has been as good as any Crimson Tide fan could have imagined, throwing for nine touchdowns through five games, with his only

interception thus far being in the first half of the season opener. He’s also the sixth most efficient quarterback in the country. The transformation to dominance that the Tide defense underwent last season is happening to Alabama’s offense this year, and it has made the Tide a much better overall football team than last year’s 12-2 squad. Ole Miss, on the other hand, didn’t have the recent recruiting firepower to reload at certain positions, like left tackle for example. Losing Michael Oher on the left side has hurt the Rebels more than anything, as Ole Miss ranks 70th in the nation and ninth in the SEC in sacks allowed per game, which may have a lot to do with Snead’s drop off. So now they meet: One team skidding off track and the other making a near-flawless trek toward another undefeated regular season. This was supposed to

have game-of-the-year potential, but now, even though Ole Miss is still ranked, this matchup doesn’t even seem like it has upset potential. Alabama has won each of the last four games in this series by four points or less, so a closer game could come naturally, but it would be difficult to deny that these teams were much closer last year, a game in which Alabama took a 21-point halftime lead. Sure, the Rebels are still a talented football team, and the Dont’a Hightower-less linebacking corps will need to play better than last week if Alabama doesn’t want Brandon Bolden and Dexter McCluster to run wild. But even if the Rebels do run wild, Ole Miss would still be no match for the Tide. A game that once appeared to be the most intriguing matchup in the SEC all season is now not even the best this weekend.

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12

SEC ROUNDUP

October 7 • GameDay 2009

Around

the

conference

Compiled by Laura Owens Sports Reporter

#1 Florida at #4 LSU

Kentucky at #25 South Carolina

Time: 7:00 p.m. on CBS Series: Florida leads 29-23-3 What to watch for: The biggest question for this game is whether Tim Tebow will be back after suffering a concussion against Kentucky two weeks ago. He has not been given a clean bill of health, and if he does play, he’ll be risking a lot. The LSU defense will certainly hit him hard. Whether Tebow plays or not could have an enormous effect on the outcome of the night contest.

Time: 11:30 a.m. on FSN Series: South Carolina leads 13-6-1 What to watch for: After a big 38-14 win over South Carolina State, USC must be feeling really good about themselves now. The Gamecocks beat No. 4 Ole Miss two weeks ago and are now playing for the SEC East. In order to do that, South Carolina needs to put away Kentucky, who has lost two home games in a row to the No. 1 and No. 3 teams in the country.

#17 Auburn at Arkansas

Houston at Mississippi State

Time: 11:00 a.m. on ESPN Series: Auburn leads 10-7-1 What to watch for: After Auburn’s 26-22 victory over Tennessee last weekend, the nation is wondering if Auburn is back. Clearly, the polls think the Tigers have earned a ranking with a 5-0 season. What people need to remember is that Auburn’s defense let Tennessee score 16 points in the fourth quarter, giving Arkansas’ potent offense a chance for an upset.

Time: 11:30 a.m. on ESPNU Series: Houston leads 8-6 What to watch for: Houston quarterback Case Keenum has been putting up big numbers offensively. The Cougars lost last week and are now 3-1 on the season. Mississippi State is now 2-3 on the season after losing at home to Georgia Tech. If MSU can pull a win from the game against Houston, it will prove the Bulldogs’ defense is right up there with the best of them in the SEC.

Georgia at Tennessee

Vanderbilt at Army

Time: 11:21 a.m. on SEC Network Series: Tennessee leads 18-15-2 What to watch for: Both of these teams suffered hard losses to in-conference opponents last weekend and each want to earn back a good name. Georgia still seems to be adjusting to new quarterback Joe Cox, while Tennessee is still adjusting to new head coach Lane Kiffin. Neither team has been overly impressive so far this season. Georgia, at least, has a winning record. Overall, this game really comes down to who shows up to play early.

Time: 11:00 a.m. TV: CBS College Sports Series: Vanderbilt leads 4-3 What to watch for: Both teams have a 2-3 overall record. They also have a 1-2 record at home and a 1-1 record on the road. Following those numbers, it seems like Vanderbilt is at a disadvantage. However, all of Vandy’s losses have been to conference opponents. Army’s losses have been to much less impressive teams, like Duke. Vanderbilt is ranked 65th in total offense, compared to Army at 92nd.

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Position Matchups The Tide continues its Southeastern Conference road trip Saturday with a showdown against No. 20 Ole Miss in Oxford. What are some key battles to watch in the SEC West contest? JEVAN SNEAD VS. ALABAMA SECONDARY Snead’s numbers have been pedestrian in 2009, (51.2 completion percentage, nine touchdowns, five interceptions) but he was named the second best quarterback in the SEC preseason. Snead has a strong arm and likes to use it, exemplifying a true gunslinger style at the position that helps him to complete difficult passes, but can also leads to interceptions by alert defensive backs like Kareem Jackson.

EDGE CW | Katie Bennett

MCT Campus

DEXTER MCCLUSTER VS. ALABAMA LINEBACKERS McCluster was arguably the pioneer back of the Wildcat in the SEC, and it’s likely that Houston Nutt will once again call on the speedy back to utilize the tricky formation against the Tide. With Dont’a Hightower out of the lineup, it will be interesting to see how Alabama, who kept McCluster bottled up in last year’s 24-20 victory, can contain the lateral quickness of McCluster. It will be a stiff test for the rebuilt Tide linebackers.

EDGE CW | Jerrod Seaton

rivals.com

GREG HARDY VS. ALABAMA TACKLES The Tide bookends will face their stiffest challenge of the season Saturday going against the Rebels’ sackmaster. Hardy has had an illustrious career against the Tide, recording five sacks and two forced fumbles in three games against Alabama. As a senior, Hardy has continued to see the injury problems that have plagued his entire career, but when he is at full strength, there are few defensive ends more dangerous.

EDGE

rivals.com

CW | Jerrod Seaton


KEY PLAYERS

ALABAMA

Greg McElroy, QB

Jevan Snead, QB

McElroy has been fantastic all year, but he, along with the rest of the Alabama offense, came out flat in the first half against Kentucky last week. It is important for McElroy to get out to a fast start against Ole Miss because the Rebels are a team that can sustain an early lead by controling the game on the ground. If the Crimson Tide offense can find success early, it will put a lot of pressure on Jevan Snead and the Ole Miss offense.

This was supposed to be Snead’s first true test of the season, but the junior has sturggled through the Rebels’ first four games. The pressure is mounting for the former Heisman contender, and a great game against Alabama would definitely help him regain confidence moving forward. Outplaying Greg McElroy would also go a long way to the Rebels pulling the upset.

Marcell Dareus, DE

Bradley Sowell, OT

Dareus has not gotten a sack since recording 3.5 in the first two games of the season, but he could have a chance to break that drought Saturday against a team that ranks ninth in the SEC in sacks allowed per game. Much of the reason why Jevan Snead has struggled this season has to do with the Rebels’ offensive line not being up to par with last year’s group. Dareus and the rest of the Alabama defensive line need to take advantage and get pressure on Snead.

The Rebels are badly missing Michael Oher, the All-American left tackle who graduated after last season. Ole Miss has already allowed eight sacks through just four games, and Alabama has been applying much better pressure on the quarterback than it did last season. Sowell will need to have an exceptional game in terms of pass blocking if the Rebels want to protect Snead and pick up a victory.

Cory Reamer, LB

Greg Hardy, DE

Although Courtney Upshaw is the new starter among the Alabama linebackers, Cory Reamer is the man taking over Dont’a Hightower’s “Will” position in the middle. The Tide gave up 133 yards on the ground last week (Alabama was allowing just 47.25 rushing yards per game prior) in a game where Kentucky had to abandon its rushing attack late. Reamer needs to step up this week for the Tide to stop dangerous ground threats Brandon Bolden and Dexter McCluster.

After nearly leaving early for the NFL this past offseason, the pass rushing specialist returned for his senior season. He is the Rebels’ biggest difference maker on defense. Hardy is a sack machine, esspecially when he plays Alabama. Of his 23.5 career sacks, 5 of them have been against the Tide. His pass-rushing ability could play a huge part in disrupting the rythum of the Alabama offense on Saturday.

OFFENSIVE STARTERS

LT LG C RG RT TE HB QB RB WR WR

77 78 73 75 79 84 17 12 22 8 4

James Carpenter (Jr.) Mike Johnson (Sr.) William Vlachos (So.) Barrett Jones (R-Fr.) Drew Davis (Sr.) Colin Peek (Sr.) Brad Smelley (So.) Greg McElroy (Jr.) Mark Ingram (So.) Julio Jones (So.) Marquis Maze (So.)

DEFENSIVE STARTERS

DE DT DE JACK WILL MIKE SAM CB FS SS CB

95 62 97 41 13 25 32 3 27 4 28

Brandon Deaderick (Sr.) Terrence Cody (Sr.) Lorenzo Washington (Sr.) Courtney Upshaw (So.) Cory Reamer (Sr.) Rolando McClain (Jr.) Eryk Anders (Sr.) Kareem Jackson (Jr.) Justin Woodall (Sr.) Mark Barron (So.) Javier Arenas (Sr.)

SPECIAL TEAMS STARTERS K P PR KR

99 97 28 28 80

OLE MISS

Leigh Tiffin (Sr.) P.J. Fitzgerald (Sr.) Javier Arenas (Sr.) Javier Arenas (Sr.) Mike McCoy (Sr.)

OFFENSIVE STARTERS

LT LG C RG RT TE QB RB FB WR WR

78 71 72 75 77 83 4 34 36 3 22

Bradley Sowell (So.) Reid Neely (Sr.) Daverin Geralds (Sr.) Rishaw Johnson (So.) John Jerry (Sr.) Ferbia Allen (R. Fr.) Jevan Snead (Jr.) Brandon Bolden (So.) Dan Hoffman (So.) Shay Hodge (Sr.) Dexter McCluster (Sr.)

DEFENSIVE STARTERS

DE DT DT DE WLB ILB SLB CB SS FS CB

92 57 96 40 7 51 9 8 20 1 24

Marcus Tillman (Sr.) Jerrell Powe (Jr.) Lawon Scott (Jr.) Kentrell Lockett (Jr.) Patrick Trahan (Sr.) Jonathan Cornell (Jr.) Allen Walker (Jr.) Marshay Green (Sr.) Johnny Brown (Jr.) Kendrick Lewis (Sr.) Cassius Vaughn (Sr.)

SPECIAL TEAMS STARTERS K P PR KR

93 97 8 25 34

Joshua Shene (Sr.) Tyler Campbell (Fr.) Marshay Green (Sr.) Cordera Eason (Sr.) Brandon Bolden (So.)


GameDay 10.07.09