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No. 1 Alabama hosts 2nd straight MWC team Colorado State

No. 1 Alabama hosts Colorado State in second straight game with MWC opponent

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The Associated Press

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Colorado State (2-1) at No. 1 Alabama (2-0), Saturday 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

Line: Alabama by 28½ .

Series record: Alabama leads 1-0.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Alabama is trying to keep rolling into its first Southeastern Conference game next week at Vanderbilt. Colorado State is seeking its third win in 15 tries against current SEC teams and first since a Holiday Bowl victory over Missouri in 1997.

KEY MATCHUP

Alabama’s defense against Colorado State’s passing game. The Rams, led by QB Nick Stevens and first-team All-Mountain West Conference WR Michael Gallup, are averaging 326.7 yards per game passing and 509 total yards. The Tide has given up just 17 points through two games despite having four linebackers out with injuries against Fresno State.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Colorado State: Stevens has passed for 985 yards through three games, including a 334-yard, three-touchdown performance in a win over Oregon State.

Alabama: RBs Damien Harris and Bo Scarbrough still haven’t had a breakout game. Scarbrough is averaging just 3.9 yards on 21 carries and doesn’t have a gain longer than 9 yards. Harris has had more success, but still has a modest 105 yards and 15 carries. It seems bound to happen sooner or later.

FACTS & FIGURES

Alabama hasn’t played back-to-back nonconference opponents from the same league since 2014 against Conference USA’s Florida Atlantic and Southern Miss. Those games ended with ‘Bama wins of 41-0 and 52-12, respectively. ... This is already Colorado State’s third game against a team from a Power Five conference. The Rams beat Oregon State 58-27 and lost to Colorado 17-3, with two touchdowns negated by penalties. ... Colorado State coach Mike Bobo played at Alabama in 1994 as Georgia quarterback and was 2-0 in Tuscaloosa as a Bulldogs assistant. Rams offensive coordinator Will Friend was a starting guard for the Tide from 1993-96. Three other Colorado State staffers have worked at Alabama in some capacity.

More AP college football: http://collegefootball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25 .

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