Alabama vs. Southern Miss Game Preview: Everything You Need To Know Before Kickoff
Southern Miss (1-1) at No. 2 Alabama (2-0)
When: Saturday, September 13 at 5 p.m. CT
Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Local weather at kickoff: 85 degrees with a 40 percent of precipitation and scattered thunderstorms. Winds moving northwest at 8 mph.
TV: ESPN2 (Play-by-play: Joe Tessitore, color analyst: Brock Huard, sideline reporter: Shannon Spake)
Radio: Crimson Tide Sports Network (Play-by-play: Eli Gold, color analyst: Phil Savage, sideline reporter: Chris Stewart)
Spread: Alabama (-48), according to VegasInsider.com.
Last Meeting: The Crimson Tide came from behind to beat the Golden Eagles 30-21 in the teams’ last meeting in 2005.
Series History: Alabama leads the series 33-6-2 with an 18-2-1 record in Tuscaloosa. The two schools played annually from 1992-2005.
The Crimson Tide had no trouble picking apart a helpless Florida Atlantic team in a weather-shortened 41-0 victory.
Blake Sims and Jake Coker split series at quarterback, passing for a combined 416 yards – the second-most passing yards in a single game in team history – and three touchdowns (two from Sims, one from Coker). For Coker, it was the first meaningful playing time in his Alabama career.
Amari Cooper had a school record-tying 13 catches for 189 yards and one touchdown. Heading into Week 3 of the season, Cooper leads the nation in catches (25) and yards (319). As an offense, the Crimson Tide’s 620 total offensive yards against FAU was the eight-best in team history.
On defense, linebacker Trey DePriest and cornerback Eddie Jackson led the charge, holding the Owls to just 145 yards of total offense.
The Golden Eagles are coming of a rare victory after holding off Alcorn State late, 26-20. It was so rare in fact, that it was only their second win in the last 26 games, but also its second in its last three games.
Southern Miss made two crucial defensive stands in the last 1:29 of the game to preserve the victory. Offensively, the Golden Eagles compiled 415 total yards to Alcorn State’s 393.
Keep an eye on:
Jake Coker, quarterback: Like last week, Coker will likely split series at quarterback with Sims in what should be a second straight glorified scrimmage for Alabama. After a few easy-to-spot miscues against FAU, Coker should be more comfortable running the offense in his second game receiving playing time.
Amari Cooper, wide receiver: At least statistically speaking, no receiver in the country has been as good as Cooper so far in 2014. After two consecutive games with 12 catches and 130-plus yards, it won’t be surprising if Cooper maintains his current pace against a Southern Miss defense ranked 107th nationally.
Nick Mullens, quarterback: It will be a homecoming of sorts for the sophomore signal-caller from Hoover, who started six games last season for the Golden Eagles and the first two this season. Mullens threw two touchdown passes – the only two touchdowns Southern Miss has scored this season – to go up 17-0 against Alcorn State. Alabama coach Nick Saban was complimentary of Mullens and Southern Miss’ spread offense when asked about them on Monday.
Kalan Reed, cornerback: The junior cornerback has had an interception each of Southern Miss’ first two games this year, including one against Mississippi State in the season opener. With both Sims and Coker still working out the kinks at quarterback, Reed may be able to take advantage and another interception to his total this season. And for added incentive, Reed, like Mullens, is also from Birmingham.
- Wide receiver DeAndrew White will be out for the second straight week after separating his shoulder in the season opener against West Virginia, Alabama coach Nick Saban said during his SEC teleconference Wednesday.
- Defensive back Jarrick Williams will be out again due to a fractured bone in his foot. Saban said on the Monday after he sustained the injury (West Virginia game) that it would take four weeks to heal.
- Backup running back Jalen Richard is questionable with a finger injury. Richard rushed for 324 yards on 85 carries last season.