Mississippi-Alabama Preview Capsule

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — No. 15 Mississippi (2-0, 0-0 Southeastern Conference) at No. 2 Alabama (2-0, 0-0), 9:15 p.m. (ESPN)

Line: Alabama by 6-1/2.

Series Record: Alabama leads 47-10-2.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

It’s the SEC opener for both Western Division contenders and a chance for them to show just how good they are after each posted a pair of unchallenging wins. The loser is left with little margin for error to win the league, though Alabama proved last season it’s possible.

KEY MATCHUP

Ole Miss passing game versus Alabama secondary. The Rebels comfortably lead the nation in scoring offense against questionable competition. QB Chad Kelly has an array of receivers led by Laquon Treadwell to test the Crimson Tide defensive backs. Youngsters like Marlon Humphrey and Minkah Fitzpatrick join standout cornerback Cyrus Jones and other veterans in trying to rise to the occasion.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Mississippi: Kelly has been the nation’s most efficient FBS passer in his first two games. Also recruited by Alabama out of junior college, he has averaged 19 yards on his 29 completions while building big leads before handing over the ball to his backups.

Alabama: RB Kenyan Drake. The versatile playmaker is a threat receiving, rushing and returning kicks and has started with two big games. Drake’s season ended with a broken leg in last year’s meeting.

FACTS & FIGURES

Ole Miss snapped a 10-game losing streak to Alabama with a 23-17 upset last season that wasn’t decided until Senquez Golson’s last-minute interception in the end zone. The Tide has won the past 12 meetings at Bryant-Denny Stadium in a mostly one-sided rivalry. … The Rebels are the first SEC team to ever score 73-plus points in back to back games, something no other major college team had done since Houston in 1968. … Ole Miss defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche has a rushing and receiving touchdown while moonlighting on offense. He has also blocked a field goal. … Rebels safety Trae Elston has scored two of the team’s three defensive touchdowns, both on interception returns.

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