All aboard! The Lane Train has made its way into Oxford, Mississippi and the Rebels/Black Bears/Land Sharks will meet the Crimson Tide this Saturday for the first tilt of the Kiffin vs. Saban era. As every Bama fan knows, Lane Kiffin was the Offensive Coordinator for the Crimson Tide from 2014-2016, and he has been credited with revolutionizing the passing game at UA. Kiffin found success with Blake Sims, Jacob Coker and Jalen Hurts during his tenure and it appears he has found his signal caller in Matt Corral.
Matt Corral, the once five star prize recruit from California, had dozens of offers from Division One Colleges and had appeared about midway through his recruitment close to committing to the Crimson Tide. Due to personal reasons, Corral’s recruitment during the final month took a lot of unexpected and wild turns which eventually allowed him to find a home in the flagship university of the Magnolia State. Former Ole Miss coach, Matt Luke, saw potential with Corral and after some growing pains early on (Egg Bowl Brawl) and other various bouts of immaturity, he eventually lost his job to John Rhys Plumlee. Alabama fans most likely have horrid memories of Plumlee running amuck for 109 yards and throwing for another 141 yards during last year’s game. Fast-forward to this season, Corral has been the man under center for the Rebels.
Lane Kiffin mentioned in the summer that Corral had taken on a leadership role, learned the playbook, and was also learning how to be a true leader. I would say Corral has met that challenge in the first two games, passing for 715 yards, 7TDs versus 1 INT and has a total QBR of 94.8, according to ESPN stats and scores. Coach Kiffin is a mastermind at getting the ball out quickly to his skill players, as he did at Bama with Amari Cooper and Derrick Henry. Now he is now utilizing Elijah Moore and Jerrion Ealy in the same fashion. Look for Coach Kiffin to come out with sweeps to stretch the Bama defense, then attempt to take the top off of Bama’s defense with Corral’s deep ball. Alabama must control the line of scrimmage and force Kiffin to become one-deminsional with his play calling… Easier said than done. Make no mistake, Ole Miss will score points against Bama’s defense, but Bama will score at will on the poor Rebels defense. My prediction is Alabama 62, Ole Miss 31. Roll Tide!
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Cory Dees is an Alabama football and recruiting analyst for Team Tide Talk. Follow him on Twitter @CDees247. Always feel free to reach out with questions and comments. Roll Tide.
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