Football preview: Crimson Tide could have visions of Oxford 2014 as Ole Miss comes calling

Football preview: Crimson Tide could have visions of Oxford 2014 as Ole Miss comes calling

Above: Alabama’s Kenyan Drake runs against Middle Tennessee State in last week’s game. (University of Alabama Athletics)


Alabama, still No. 2 after trouncing Middle Tennessee State 37-10, could have revenge on its mind at Bryant Denny Stadium as No. 15 Ole Miss comes to town. The Rebels knocked off the Tide 23-17 last year in Oxford.

If Ole Miss’ 73-21 win over Fresno State is any indication, the home team’s task will be no easier at 8:15 Saturday night. Chad Kelly threw for 346 yards and four touchdowns, three to Quincy Adeboyejo, in Mississippi’s latest victory.

Auburn's Ray Melvin elevates for the football against Jacksonville State. (Zach Bland/Auburn Athletics)
Auburn’s Ray Melvin elevates for the football against Jacksonville State.
(Zach Bland/Auburn Athletics)

Jacksonville State, then the No. 6 Football Championship Subdivision team, pushed Auburn before falling 27-20 in overtime last Saturday to the Tigers, then the No. 6 team in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

While close wasn’t good enough to net the Gamecocks a win, it was good enough for them to climb to No. 1 in the STATS FCS Top 25 football rankings and No. 4 in the Coaches’ Poll. They host Ohio Valley Conference foe Tennessee State at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Despite winning, Auburn went in the other direction in the AP Poll, falling 12 slots to No. 18. The Tigers will face their second straight nationally ranked – albeit an FBS – opponent as they venture to No. 13 LSU.

Here’s the rest of this week’s slate:


South Alabama at San Diego State: After falling 48-9 at Nebraska last week, the Jaguars travel to the West Coast for a 7 p.m. Central game. The Aztecs beat San Diego 37-3 in their opener but lost Game 2 35-7 at California.

Chattanooga at Samford: The Bulldogs (2-0) host the No. 12 team in the FCS Coaches’ Poll at 2:30 p.m.

Troy at Wisconsin: The Badgers began their season with a 35-17 loss to Alabama in Arlington, Texas. Wisconsin will try to get some revenge against the state as it welcomes the Trojans for a 2:30 contest.

Alabama A&M at Prairie View A&M: Following an off week, the Bulldogs open their Southwestern Athletic Conference slate against the Panthers at 6 Saturday night.

Grambling State at Alabama State: The Hornets (0-2) welcome the Tigers, who are also winless, at 6 p.m.

Sewanee at Birmingham-Southern: The Panthers (2-0) are averaging 32 points per game. They entertain the Tigers at 1 p.m.

North Alabama: The Lions are off this week. They host Florida Tech at 6 p.m. next Saturday.

West Alabama at Miles: Tigers quarterback Dezmon Huntley was named the Gulf South Conference Freshman of the Week for his performance in the Tigers’ 34-8 victory over Cumberland. He led the team from Livingston to 27 unanswered points after taking over for injured starter Trent Thompson. Miles fell to 0-2 as it lost 33-7 to West Georgia, its second ranked opponent of the season. The Tigers and Golden Bears meet at 4 p.m.

Winston-Salem State at Tuskegee: The Golden Tigers sit atop the Heritage Sports Radio Network Poll for the second week in a row. The Rams (0-2) come calling at 1 p.m. on ESPN3.

Stillman at Albany State:  The Tigers (1-1) visit the Rams (1-1) at 6 p.m. Central.

Concordia at Southeastern: The Hornets play in Lakeland, Fla., at 6 p.m. Central.

Huntingdon: The Hawks are off this week before traveling to Belhaven at 1 p.m. next Saturday.

Faulkner: The Eagles remain in their nest this week before hosting Georgetown at 1:30 p.m. next Saturday.


Jackson-Olin took on Pelham last weekend. (Bernard Troncale/Alabama NewsCenter)
Jackson-Olin took on Pelham last weekend. (Bernard Troncale/Alabama NewsCenter)

Class 7A: The Hoover Bucs (4-0) get the nod for the second week in a row as the game to watch. Thompson (3-1) comes calling and nearly everything lines up for Hoover. The Bucs have a 16-game winning streak and are 18-0 against Thompson, which was 0-10 last season. But new coach Mark Freeman and his Warriors are two points shy of being 4-0 as they lost 15-14 to Spain Park. The Bucs, No. 1 in the latest Alabama Sports Writers Association poll, escaped Oak Mountain with a 17-14 win last week. Might Thompson rise to the challenge this week?

Class 6A: No. 2 Spanish Fort (4-0) is at No. 3 Saraland (3-0) in a game that will be televised via the NFHS Network. Spanish Fort won 5A state title in 2012 and 2013 and Saraland was in finals last year.

Demopolis cheerleaders take the field. (contributed)
Demopolis cheerleaders take the field. (contributed)

Class 5A: No. 6 Demopolis hosts Helena in a battle of 3-0 teams. Long-time Sweet Water coach Stacy Luker is in his first season at Demopolis. Watt Parker, who previously coached at Chelsea and Arab,  took Helena to the state playoffs in the school’s first year in 2014.

Class 4A: Region 8 rivals Wilson (3-1) and Brooks (3-0) have met 44 times. Brooks, the home team this week, has won 33, including last year’s 55-14 victory.

Class 3A: No. 9 Glencoe (3-0) is at No. 3 Piedmont (3-0). They are tied for the Region 6 lead at 2-0.  The Yellow Jackets finished 13-1 last year and reached the state semifinals – losing 31-28 on a last-second field goal to Madison Academy. Piedmont, coincidentally, lost to Glencoe last season 31-28.

Class 2A: No. 1 Elba (3-0) is at New Brockton (3-0). Elba was in the finals in 2014 and won the title in 2011. Coach Ed Rigby’s Tigers are averaging 53.3 points per game. Coach Justin Jones’ Gamecocks are averaging 46.7 points per game but have been shut out in their last three meetings.

Class 1A: No. 5 McKenzie (3-0) is at No. 7 Georgiana (4-0). These two could be playing for the Region 2 crown after Georgiana beat perennial region-winner Brantley last week. Georgiana is averaging 50.0 points per game and McKenzie is scoring at a 55.7 clip.

AISA: Marengo Academy (1-1) is No. 8 in the Alabama Independent School Association. It is home to No. 10 South Choctaw Academy (3-0).

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