When someone beats the No.1 team in the country on the road, it is because of a complete team effort. Everyone needs to step up and execute. That said, there are always outstanding performances by individuals. Alabama saw that firsthand when they were last beaten at home by Johnny Football. Here are the three Ole Miss offensive players who are most critical to the ‘Bama game.
1. Bo Wallace, QB
This is pretty obvious. Alabama scored 13 points off of Rebel turnovers last season and if Ole Miss is going to stay in this ballgame they will need Wallace to keep up his pickless streak. Down-the-field is open for Wallace if he wants it but if he tries to play hero and throw the ball as hard as he can, the ball sails and it will get picked by Alabama.
Wallace finds himself in an awkward role of not needing to be a hero, but not needing to be a game-manager. It is somewhere between Johnny Manziel and Greg McElroy. Limit the mistakes, no three-and-outs, and get the ball to your playmakers.
2. Laremy Tunsil, OT
Guarding against a preseason All-American like Jackson Jeffcoat is a tall task for any offensive lineman. When it comes on your first start and you wind up dominating him, that’s unreal. Tunsil is a huge talent that Rebel fans need to enjoy today because he won’t be in Oxford after his junior season.
Tunsil will need to continue his great play going up against a Nick Saban/Kirby Smart defense. Hubbard and Mosley blitz a lot and the Tide will try and confuse the freshman. If he can keep Wallace’s jersey clean for the majority of the night, the Rebels might be singing Dixie all the way home.
3. Donte Moncrief, WR
Last year’s Alabama game was frustrating for Moncrief. He was bumped at the line and then had a safety waiting on him. With two catches for 37 yards he had his worst outing of the season. So far in 2013 he has just 11 catches for 173 yards. He will want to prove his detractors wrong, he will want to prove the Bama fans who called him overrated wrong, he wants to beat Alabama, by a lot.
Obviously there are plenty of players who are important in this game, going 13-15 deep even. If the rest of those players do their jobs adequately and these three play exceptional, well, ding-ding-ding.