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5 Things We Learned After Alabama Shuts Out Ole Miss

Kevin W. RyanContributor IIIJune 25, 2016

5 Things We Learned After Alabama Shuts Out Ole Miss

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    Ole Miss came into Tuscaloosa with potential and confidence but ended up leaving with a big fat "0" on the scoreboard. 

    Alabama's next "true test" comes November 9 when Les Miles' LSU Tigers come to Tuscaloosa; however, college football fans kept a close eye on the potential for No. 21-ranked Mississippi to upset the top-ranked Crimson Tide this week. 

    Here are five things we learned after Alabama's 25-0 victory over Ole Miss...

Alabama Cannot Sleep on Ranked Opponents

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    Alabama made its fair share of mistakes in this game and easily could have lost if it was facing another national contender. If the Tide were playing well-rounded squads like LSU, Oregon, Ohio State and Stanford, this game would have been far more interesting. 

    Fortunately for 'Bama, Saturday's opponent was an overhyped Ole Miss squad that couldn't score for the duration of the game.

    If the Tide continue to play like this, they will certainly not be a lock for three straight BCS National Championships. 

Clutch Kicking Appears

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    Coming into the late September matchup against Ole Miss, senior kicker Cade Foster was just 1-of-2 for field-goal attempts. 

    In the first half against Ole Miss, Foster gave the Tide a 9-0 lead by burying three much-needed field goals, including a 53-yard career long bomb in the second quarter. 

    If Alabama gets locked into a defensive battle against LSU, Foster might be needed to lift the Tide past the Tigers. 

McCarron Comes Before Yeldon

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    Nick Saban has shown all season long that he trusts A.J. McCarron more than T.J. Yeldon despite Yeldon's explosive talent. Alabama came into this game against Ole Miss with the 91st overall rushing attack.

    The Tide predominantly passed the ball during the first half, but once Yeldon exploded for a 68-yard touchdown the lead grew to 16 points and Saban continued to rush the ball and keep the clock winding down. 

    McCarron proved that he is reliable when the game is close, completing 20 of 23 pass attempts in the first half.  

Defense Can Cover Slow Offensive Production

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    There are few defenses in the country that can keep Alabama off the scoreboard, and even when Alabama's offense is not as well-oiled as expected, Saban can rely on clutch kicking—especially if the Tide's defense can hold the opponent to less than 50 yards on the ground. 

    Alabama's defense was purely incredible against Ole Miss by holding the Rebels to 46 yards rushing, 159 in the air and not even a field goal in the entire game. 

Ole Miss Not Afraid to Take a Chance

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    Mississippi knew that it would be extremely difficult to upset the top-ranked Tide on September 28; however, head coach Hugh Freeze was not afraid to take a gamble in order to put some points on the board. 

    After converting a long pass on the first play of the game, Freeze called for a running back pass from Laquon Treadwell that was slightly underthrown.

    Despite ending up as an incredibly acrobatic interception by Eddie Jackson, the play call still shows how the Rebels prepared for this game as well as just how badly they wanted to win this game. 

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