No. 1 Alabama and No. 21 Ole Miss face off Saturday in a battle of unbeaten SEC West teams. The Crimson Tide opened as 16-point favorites in the game, but Rebels quarterback Bo Wallace has plenty of confidence.
Ole Miss is coming off a lopsided win at Texas and an open date in the last two weeks, and Alabama has eked out a 49-42 win at Texas A&M and stumbled through a victory over Colorado State. The Aggies put up 628 yards against 'Bama, the most ever allowed by the Crimson Tide, but Wallace says Ole Miss is actually better than A&M on the outside, per al.com:
"I think we have better receivers than A&M," Wallace said. "They want to talk about Mike Evans being so good, but we have Donte (Moncrief) and I think Laquon (Treadwell) is going to be that way. We have better players on the outside than A&M does.
"Yeah, I think we can put points on them," Wallace said. "I think we can put points on anybody. We just have to show up and play. It's the same thing every week, let's stay on schedule, control the tempo and don't have any turnovers."
There's a reason "they" want to talk about Aggie wide receiver Mike Evans being so good: He is really good. Evans leads the SEC with 143.8 receiving yards per game, and among players with at least 15 catches, he averages a conference-best 26.1 yards per grab. Against Alabama, Evans compiled a Texas A&M record 279 yards and one touchdown on seven catches.
It's encouraging for Ole Miss that Wallace has faith in his receivers, but while Donte Moncrief and Laquon Treadwell have talent, they haven't come close to matching the on-field production of Evans. The two average 57.7 and 53.1 yards per game, respectively, and have combined for two touchdowns. The Rebel offense has been impressive compiling 490.0 yards and 38.0 points per contest, but those numbers are far off the pace set by the Aggies so far (602.3, 50.3).
Ole Miss may indeed give Alabama a tough game, but providing Nick Saban -- who prides himself in shutting down opposing offenses -- and the Crimson Tide bulletin-board material likely won't help the Rebels' chances.