Ole Miss vs. Alabama: Eddie Lacy Is the Key to Tide Victory

Jeremy Fuchs@@jaf78Correspondent IIISeptember 29, 2012

TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 22:  Defensive back D'Joun Smith #11 of the Florida Atlantic Owls attempts to tackle Running back Eddie Lacy #42 of the Alabama Crimson Tide on September 22, 2012 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. At halftime the Alabama Crimson Tide leads the Florida Atlantic Owls is 30-0.  (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)
Michael Chang/Getty Images

Alabama is by far the best team in the nation. They have an absolutely incredible defense that is paired with a very good offense and superb coaching.

They take on a surprising Ole Miss team, who have proved to be an explosive offense.

Consider this: They average almost 260 yards per game on the ground. They put up 488 yards per game, which is third best in the SEC. They have the 29th-ranked offense in the nation.

While we know the Alabama Crimson Tide's defense is top-notch, it doesn't mean that the Ole Miss high-octane, no-huddle attack can't give them problems. If they can get the running game going, and have the ball for some time, they could make some noise.

This is where Eddie Lacy comes in. The best way to combat a top offense is to keep them off the field. That's why Nick Saban and Alabama will look to Lacy.

If Lacy can be successful, then Alabama can win the time of possession battle. If they do that, it's going to be hard for Ole Miss to get a consistent attack going, an attack that's needed to pull off the upset.

Lacy had a rough start to the season but found his groove last week against Florida Atlantic. The 6'1", 220-pound running back rushed for 106 yards on 15 carries, which averages out to a healthy 7.1 yards per carry. Two weeks ago against Arkansas, Lacy scored three times.

Lacy will need to continue his strong play. The more Alabama can run the ball, the less time Ole Miss is on the field. That will avoid any possibility of an upset. 

Alabama is a 31-point favorite, so an Ole Miss win would be quite the shock. Still, explosive offenses can do damage, and the Rebels are in a better position to win in a shootout than the Tide are. That's why Lacy is the key for 'Bama. If he can run effectively, Alabama won't have to worry about the Ole Miss offense. Lacy is talented enough to do it.