After defeating Texas A&M, 49-42, in Week 3, Alabama faces another team that employs the read option this Saturday when they host No. 21 Ole Miss. But head coach Nick Saban says his team's preparation will be "totally different".
Saban: "There is not an ounce of (scheme) similarity in Ole Miss and Texas A&M offensively. Totally different preparation."— Cecil Hurt (@CecilHurt) September 23, 2013
While both teams are averaging similar rushing numbers (5.4 yards per run for the Aggies, 5.7 for the Rebels), the two offenses are different on a schematic level. Texas A&M runs an air raid offense that has added the read option due to the speed and natural running ability of quarterback Johnny Manziel, while the Rebels' offense is built around the read option.
A&M's offense has certainly scored more than the Rebels', averaging 50.3 points per game compared to 38.0, but that's in large part thanks to the difference in passing ability. The Aggies have averaged 10.5 yards per passing attempt, while Ole Miss has averaged just 6.8. The Rebels also run the ball more frequently than Texas A&M -- the Aggies run the ball 51.5% of the time, while Ole Miss runs it on 55.5% of plays.
The passing game might be the difference, as evident in recent scores by the two teams against Alabama.
Is Alabama more prepared for Ole Miss/Texas A&M-style tempo? Saban points out Tide allowed 13 points to Rebels last year; 42 to Aggies.— John Zenor (@jzenor) September 23, 2013
Last year, Alabama gave up 29 points to Texas A&M.