The number that stands out is 31. Who would have expected Ole Miss to score 31 points against Texas, as the Rebels did earlier this season? Of course, the Longhorns scored 66. No surprise, then, that Alabama Coach Nick Saban has mentioned the Mississippi offense as an area of concern.
Number one ranked Alabama (4-0 overall and 1-0 in Southeastern Conference play) hosts unranked Ole Miss (3-1, 0-0) at 8:15 p.m. CDT Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Mississippi uses an up-tempo, no-huddle offense with the aim of having 80 offensive plays per game. The Rebels are averaging just over 70 per game through the first four games and rank third in the SEC in total offense. Alabama, on the other hand, has limited opponents to about 55 plays per game and the Crimson Tide ranks first in total defense.
The bottom line is points. Alabama ranks third in the conference in scoring offense at 42 points per game and Ole Miss is sixth at 36.8. Defensively, Bama is first, allowing just 5.2 points per outing, and Mississippi is 12th, giving up 25.8.
The Rebels lead the league in rushing with 259.8 yards per game. The Tide is sixth at 204. Alabama is second in the SEC in rushing defense, allowing just 62.2 yards per game, and Mississippi is seventh, giving up 125.2.
Ole Miss is seventh in passing offense, 228.2 yards per game, Bama right behind at eighth, 221. The Tide is first in pass defense, allowing 122.8 yards per game, and the Rebels are 13th, giving up 248.
Mississippi is third in the SEC in total offense, 488 yards per game, and Alabama is sixth, 425. Bama is first in total defense, allowing 185 yards per game, and Ole Miss is 10th, giving up 373.2.
In passing efficiency, Alabama is first and Ole Miss sixth. In pass defense efficiency, Bama is second and the Rebels 12th.
Mississippi leads the league in third down conversions, 27-51 for 52.9 per cent, and is second in first downs with 100. The Tide is sixth in third down conversions, 20-45 for 44.4 per cent, and sixth in first downs with 84. Bama is second in defense on third down, allowing 12 conversions in 51 opportunities for 23.5 per cent, and second in first downs allowed, 46. Ole Miss is 11th in defense, giving up 21-58 for 36.2 per cent, and ninth in first downs allowed, 78.
Two statistical areas of particular interest to coaches are Turnover Margin and Red Zone performance.
Alabama is second in the league in turnover margin at plus 10. The Rebels are 11th at minus three. Bama has six interceptions and six fumble recoveries and has lost two fumbles. Mississippi has two fumble recoveries and five interceptions, but has lost six fumbles and suffered four interceptions.
The Tide leads the league in both Red Zone offense and Red Zone defense. Inside the opponent 20-yard line, Bama has scored on 18 of 18 opportunities, 14 touchdowns and four field goals. Opponents have been inside the Alabama 20 only five times and have two scores, both touchdowns. Ole Miss is seventh in Red Zone offense, scoring 11 times (10 touchdowns, 1 field goal) in 13 opportunities. The Rebels are second in Red Zone defense, giving up 10 scores (8 touchdowns, 2 field goals) in 17 challenges.
Both teams play with few penalties, Alabama third in the SEC with 18 penalties and 40 yards per game, Ole Miss fourth with 16 penalties and 40.8 yards per game.
The only individual leaders in this week’s SEC statistics are Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron first in pass efficiency and the Rebels’ Jaylen Walton on kickoff returns.