14 October 2008
We did this before with Georgia, and we're rolling it out again for our neighbors to the west. Ole Miss bloggers at the always excellent Red Solo Cup
have their 5 ways to beat Ole Miss
up, and we're swapping our five for theirs.
A quick note about the title of the blog. A few years back, Ole Miss decided to clamp down on drinking on the Grove (think the quad but with more trees and more tents on gamedays). Their solution? Require the drinks to be in a cup. Thus, the Red Solo Cup - brilliantly subtitled "We only hide our booze because we have to".
Without further ado, here's how to do it:
1. Put a hat on the ball when it's in Glen Coffee's hands.
At times, he's been scary good this season. He's second in the SEC in rushing at this point with 118 ypg (Michael Smith at Arkansas is 1.8 ypg ahead of him). At times though, he's just been scary. His fumbling has gotten to the point that Nick Saban treated him like Featherstone this week - joking that Coffee may have to carry the ball into the dining hall.
It's hard to gripe about a guy who had 218 yards on 25 carries two weeks ago against Kentucky. But, he had one fumble inside the five, and was very
lucky to avoid a second. Make Coffee fumble, and you have a chance.
2. Make John Parker Wilson beat you.
Wilson was exceptionally pedestrian last week - 7 of 17 for 106 yards and an interception. Yes, he had a couple of passes taken away on bogus calls from the officials. If he'd gotten those back, he'd have been 9 of 19 for about 170 yards. Yipee.
Alabama has been fortunate this season; Wilson hasn't been required to win any games by himself. Even at Georgia when Alabama threw the ball around, there was little pressure because most of the passes were play action. It was easy for Georgia to bite on that play action thanks to early success rushing the ball.
We're going to run it - stack the box and make Wilson prove he can beat you deep. He hasn't done it yet.
3. Make Leigh Tiffin beat you.
Our placekicker likes to play Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde. If it's his week, it could be trouble for you. If it's not, welcome to our hell.
Tiffin has been very good this season - after an exceptionally shaky freshman campaign, and a much better sophomore season. He started off gangbusters - missing only two long field goals early in the season. In our last outing against Kentucky, he was positively awful.
He missed 2 FGs - one from 42 and 34 yard chip shot. He also missed an extra point that was thankfully called back on a penalty. If he's on, he's on. If not, it could be a long day for the Tide faithful.
4. Capitalize on the aggressive defense.
They're fast. They're mean. They're very aggressive. And in some cases, they're a little green. They're susceptible to trickeration - including screens and draws. Kentucky scored on a long wide receiver screen play two weeks ago, and since it's in Bama's nature to blitz, these plays are effective.
A word of caution - the defenders do adjust, so don't go to the well too often.
5. Whatever you do, don't return a kick.
It's happened twice this season. The first time was to open the second half of the Clemson game. Alabama looked lethargic and a bit lazy on the kick. CJ Spiller's return got their attention, and they powered over the Tigers the rest of the way.
The second return was late in the Georgia game. Georgia had begun to crawl back into the game, and some of us were beginning to breathe less easily when Prince Miller brought a punt back 92 yards for a touchdown - capping a 17-0 run for the Bulldogs, and pulling them within two scores.
The return got Alabama's attention. They reeled off 10 straight to put the game away. It was technically closer at the end, when Georgia added a garbage score to pull within 11, but the game was easily closest just before the return.
The guys at Red Solo Cup joke that Alabama will just have to show up to win this one. Not so. Ole Miss has proven that they can play with the big boys - smacking Florida in the mouth in the Swamp. If things go like this on Saturday, it'll be a long afternoon for the boys in Crimson.