Game time: 7:30 p.m. ET, Sept. 25, 2021
Venue: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL
Where to watch: SEC Network
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Alabama -45.5; O/U 58
BetMGM: Alabama -45; O/U 58.5
Caesars: Alabama -45; O/U 58.5
Southern Miss: 1-2
No. 1 Alabama: 3-0 (1-0 SEC)
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Southern Miss - Alabama preview and analysis
Southern Miss: lost 21-9 vs. Troy on Sept. 18
Alabama: won 31-29 vs. No. 11 Florida on Sept. 18
The only question we should have at this rate is if the Alabama Crimson Tide will win, but rather by how much against the Southern Miss Golden Eagles.
Alabama is coming off a dreaded scare, losing 31-29 at the Florida Gators in Gainesville that nearly turned into the upset of the year. If not for a stop on a 2-point conversion that would’ve tied the game for Florida, who knows what the top of the top-25 would’ve looked like.
Quarterback Bryce Young threw for 240 yards and three touchdowns to propel the leaders of the college football playoff world and reigning national champions. Despite the win, Alabama didn’t cover the 14-point spread it was favored by. There’s no way we should expect anything like this in this matchup in Tuscaloosa.
The Crimson Tide are near-seven touchdown favorites against Southern Miss. That kind of number doesn’t bode well in the history of Alabama coach Nick Saban, who is 6-13 against the spread as favorites of 40 points or more in his career.
There won’t be any shortage of offense from Alabama’s side, as Young has continued the strong play left by Mac Jones the year prior. But forget the offense for a moment; the Tide defense is licking its chops coming into this game.
The Southern Miss offense is coming off a horrendous outing at home Saturday, a 21-9 loss to Troy that saw the Trojans defense sack quarterback Ty Keyes nine (9!) times which contributed to the Eagles’ grand total of negative one rushing yard. Keyes had 19 carries and -45 yards thanks to those sacks.
Keyes also threw two interceptions while going 16-of-27 for 157 yards in the 12-point loss to Troy. Alabama’s defense failed to stop the Florida running game, and rest assure, there’s no way Saban is going to let his team fall asleep at the wheel against this anemic of a team.
If the Eagles had put together a better showing at home, Southern Miss covering would be a narrowly decent play. However, an angry Alabama team at home is a recipe for disaster for the Golden Eagles. Not only will Young have an efficient, early day, but Alabama is primed to score a couple of times on defense, as well. Alabama by 51
Alabama is 4-13 against the spread in its last 17 as a home favorite of at least 42.5 points.
Southern Miss is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 September games.
The under is 17-7 in Southern Miss’ last 24 Saturday games.
Alabama is 6-1 ATS in the games following where it’s failed to cover in two of the past three.
Players to watch
Southern Miss: The only bright spot for the Eagles last week was Frank Gore Jr., the son of the future Pro Football Hall of Famer. He had 77 total yards on 20 touches in the loss to Troy.
Alabama: Jameson Williams doesn’t have the big-play ability of Devonta Smith, but he has become Bryce Young’s favorite target three games in. Williams is coming off a four-catch, 61-yard effort against Florida.
Passing: Trey Lowe -- 232 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Frank Gore Jr. -- 274 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Jakarius Caston -- 88 yards, 1 TD
Defense: Josh Carr Jr. -- 2.5 sacks
Passing: Bryce Young -- 811 yards, 10 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: Brian Robinson -- 208 yards, 2 TD
Receiving: Jameson Williams -- 218 yards, 2 TD
Defense: Phidarian Mathis -- 2.5 sacks
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