A week off to rest and recover from the first half of the Southeastern Conference grind is something Ole Miss is hoping to use to its advantage Saturday at Alabama.
Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said one of the objectives during the off week was to tweak a few things heading into the final half of the season. The Rebels are currently 4-3 overall in the Southeastern Conference and face two straight road games before returning home on Feb. 11 against Auburn.
Alabama is 3-4 in the SEC and in more of a desperate need for a win to stay in the thick of the race. Both Ole Miss and Alabama use defense to earn wins. Ole Miss ranks 32nd in the nation in field goal percentage defense (.394), while the Crimson Tide ranks second in the SEC and fifth in the nation in field goal percentage defense (.373). Alabama also leads the SEC in scoring defense by allowing only 57.9 points per game.
Saturday’s game is also an important one from an RPI standpoint. The Rebels currently rank No. 40 in the standings used to determine teams for the NCAA Tournament, while Alabama is No. 36. Prior to earning a 72-66 win over Arkansas, Alabama had lost four straight in the SEC. The Crimson Tide are 9-2 at Coleman Coliseum this year, including 2-1 in the SEC. (February 3, 2012, Page 6A)