The scene has been set for the matchup between Ole Miss and No. 1 Alabama this Saturday.
- Ole Miss’ exciting offense vs Alabama’s ferocious defense.
- The Crimson Tide’s prodigious Tua Tagovailoa against the Rebels’ extremely penetrable defense.
- A program still on the back end of probation versus a program trying to win yet another national championship.
Last year, Alabama beat Ole Miss 66-3 as the Rebels reeled from the Hugh Freeze scandal, the black cloud of the NCAA sanctions to come and the discovery that Shea Patterson and his daddy weren’t necessarily a great fit for Phil Longo’s offense.
Cue the scene where Jordan Ta’amu takes the reigns for an injured Patterson in the second half against LSU.
With each game last season, Ta’amu gained more and more confidence driving the turbo-charged machine that is Phil Longo’s offense. Not just anyone can. Just ask Patterson.
A full spring and off-season later, it’s Ta’amu’s team now and he’s got the gas pressed all the way to floor taking Longo’s baby to its absolute limits, demonstrating a long-range accuracy to those multiple rangy, fast-moving sure-handed targets that many consider the best receivers in the country. It’s an offense that that should scare any defense–even Alabama’s.
And yet, Ole Miss doesn’t stand a chance. Or does it?
The game sets up perfectly for the creation of college football legendry.
- A defense nobody is giving a chance, and an offense that must overcome it.
- Nick Saban and his robotic national champion algorithm versus a former offensive line coach that wasn’t necessarily at the top of his athletic director’s head coach candidate list before Thanksgiving last year.
- Bright lights. National television. A home crowd wearing red and blue.
These are the environments that create the opportunity for legends to be born.
And make no mistake, if Ole Miss does knock off Alabama, or even give it a scare, a few guys wearing red and blue will become fixtures in Ole Miss lore.
So on Saturday, I’m not asking for much.
I just want it to be legendary.