Rebels offense will need to come up big vs. Alabama

The Sports Xchange

WHAT'S AHEAD: Ole Miss opens up SEC play against defending national champion Alabama, which also happens to be the top-ranked team in the country this season as well. After Ole Miss lost by 35 to top-15 Texas two weeks ago, how bad could it get for coach Hugh Freeze in his first SEC game? Alabama's greatest strength, its defense, will go up against Ole Miss' strength, its offense.

--Starting QB Bo Wallace left Saturday's game against Tulane with a sprained right shoulder. It's not considered especially serious, but backup Barry Brunetti performed well in relief. He was 5-of-7 passing for 45 yards, and also led Ole Miss with 67 yards on 13 carries.

--The shutout of Tulane was the first for the Ole Miss defense since the 2008 Egg Bowl against Mississippi State.

--It was the most lopsided Ole Miss win since a 52-6 win against Southeastern Louisiana in September 2009.

Ole Miss believes its no-huddle spread offense can score points against anyone. Well, Alabama isn't anyone. Possibly the nation's best defense, the Crimson Tide could either shut the Rebels offense down or prove Ole Miss right.

Ole Miss completed passes to 10 different wide receivers on Saturday despite throwing the ball only 23 times. It was a worthy enterprise, mainly to keep defenses guessing in future games where the ball is going to go beyond No. 1 receiver Donte Moncrief.

Ole Miss' defense was better, but CB Wesley Pendleton was hit a couple of times for fades routes that he could not make a play on and it took a pair of goal-line stands to keep Tulane out of the end zone.

"I was very irritated at halftime. Just thought we lost our edge a little bit. We had worked hard all morning long and last night gearing them up for what we knew would be a different atmosphere." -- Coach Hugh Freeze, on playing in New Orleans' Superdome.

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