clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Watch the Turnovers in Alabama-Ole Miss

Taking care of the ball will be very important on Saturday.

Kevin C. Cox

According to the S&P+ metric, Saturday's Alabama at Ole Miss game is a No. 1 versus No. 2 matchup. The teams are nearly even right at the top, with the Tide taking a slight edge.

But for as good as these two teams are, one thing they're not that great at is taking care of the football.

Four games in, Alabama sits on a very uncharacteristic -3 turnover margin. The Crimson Tide has yet to finish a season with a negative turnover margin in the Nick Saban era, and the worst of the schedule is still yet to come. Two weeks ago, Bama outgained Florida 645-200, but the game was close for three quarters thanks to a defensive touchdown and post-turnover offensive touchdowns on drives of 31 and 16 yards, respectively, for the Gators.

Not to be outdone, Ole Miss has been pretty generous with the ball itself. Bo Wallace has a robust six interceptions in his four games so far—only Vanderbilt freshman Wade Freebeck is within one of him with five—and the Rebels have lost a fumble in all but one game so far. Only the hapless Commodores are worse in both total turnovers and turnovers lost per game.

Despite ball security being that shoddy for the Rebels, they do still have a positive turnover margin at +2. They've been pretty great at turning other teams over, including a conference-leading nine interceptions so far. Blake Sims has been good at avoiding picks, throwing one only about every 50 passes, but he does have one in each of his games against Power 5 competition (a rate of one every 33 throws). If his shoulder isn't 100%, the ball hawking Rebel pass defense will pose even more of a threat.

You don't have to go far on the Internet to find someone who thinks Alabama is just going to throttle Ole Miss (example). It might still happen, too. However, don't forget how turnovers can affect a game or overlook how the Rebels appear to have a good advantage in that aspect of the game. Bama could outplay Ole Miss and still lose thanks to turnovers. It's something very important to watch come Saturday.