Ole Miss Defense Has Tough Choice

Alabama's Julio Jones has been very quiet so far in 2009; a little too quiet if you ask me. Jones is not even listed among the top receivers in the country this season. In fact he is not even on the list at all.

This story originally appeared at BleacherReport.com

If fact, none of Alabama's fine group of receivers are listed anywhere.

Yet, Greg McElroy is ranked No. 6 in passing in the country.

How could this be? The answer is simple. Alabama is spreading the ball around.

Each of Alabama's top four receivers is only averaging between 32 and 38 yards per game. All of Alabama's top receivers are averaging just about the same number of receptions per game. In several games this season, McEroy has thrown to at least 10 different receivers.

That is called spreading the wealth. What does this mean for the Crimson Tide?

It means that Alabama opponents are staying up late at night, banging their heads against the wall trying to figure out how to stop Alabama's passing attack.

Julio Jones is a special talent, and since his arrival at Alabama there has been many attempts to double cover him in order to neutralize his ability to dominate the game.

Alabama Coach Nick Saban and Offensive Coordinator Jim McElwain devised a simple solution to this problem: force Alabama opponents to cover everybody on Alabama's offense, including all of the running backs.

This means Jones may soon be getting a lot of passes thrown his way.

He is due to have a breakout game because defenses can no longer just cover him and many believe that breakout game might just be the Ole Miss Rebels.

Ole Miss must keep an eye on all of Alabama's other passing threats, which include Marquis Maze, Colin Peek, and Darius Hanks. They also have to watch Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson catching passes out of the backfield as well.

So it would be a perfect time to spring the trap that Saban and McElwain seem to have been setting up all year.

How do you cover all of Alabama's gifted receivers and still double-cover Jones at the same time?

You don't.

Some fans claim Jones has been overlooked, while others think he has been injured. Could it be possible that Saban and company have just been baiting the trap that would finally let Jones get his hands on the ball?

Look for Jones to have a breakout game in Oxford, Miss. Look for Alabama's offense to spring the trap.

The Ole' Miss Rebels do have a very good defense.

They are currently ranked No. 18 in the country. Their passing defense is ranked No. 13. So this will be as tough of a task as Alabama has faced all year.

Alabama has not beaten Ole Miss by more than seven points in the last four years.

Anybody that doesn't expect this game to go into the fourth quarter with the outcome in doubt is sadly mistaken.

This could be Alabama's toughest test yet.

It is time for Alabama's star players to step up and Julio Jones is one of those players. Jones has always played his best game when things got tough and it doesn't get any tougher than playing Ole' Miss when they believe they have nothing to lose.

It is a classic Catch 22: do you focus on Jones and risk being burned by Alabama's other talented receivers, or do you not and risk being burned by one of the best receivers in the country?

Keep an eye on No.8 this Saturday in Oxford, Miss. because if the Rebels take their eye off of this talented receiver then Julio Jones might just be the key to victory for the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Ole' Miss Rebels.

Editor's Note: From time-to-time we use articles from BlearcherReport.com. For more articles on Alabama at BleacherReport.com go to


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