Maybe Houston Nutt has Alabama right where he wants the Crimson Tide.
The first-year Ole Miss coach has made a living of swooping in under the radar and winning just this type of game. He did it at Arkansas last season in his final game there when the Razorbacks stunned then No. 1-ranked LSU in triple overtime at Tiger Stadium. He did it earlier this season when the Rebels went to the Swamp and knocked off then No. 4-ranked Florida.
In fact, Nutt is 5-7 all-time against top 5 foes. In all five wins, Nutt’s team entered the game unranked, and four of the five wins were on the road.
As fate would have it, the Rebels (3-3, 1-2 SEC) are unranked entering Saturday’s game against the No. 2-ranked Crimson Tide, and the game is being played at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
“I think it’s preparation, an attitude of taking your 70 guys and going into one of the toughest environments, hostile environments in the country,” Nutt said of his success against some of the heavyweights away from home over the years.
“It’s a focus, a belief of one play at a time that we can do it. Hopefully, we can get some more around here. We haven’t been finishing things. We’ve been gift-wrapping some games by turning the ball over. But to win those games, it takes great concentration, a great job in turnover margin, a quarterback that takes care of the ball and distributes the ball the right way, a defense that always plays with a lot of toughness, always stops the run and comes up with big plays, and of course, special teams playing a vital role.”
Nutt’s Rebels have been just good enough this season to torment fans. They’re a couple of turnovers away (colossal ones down near the goal line) of being 5-1 overall and unbeaten in the SEC.