No. 1 Alabama, Tua Tagovailoa host Arkansas State
Arkansas State (1-0) at No. 1 Alabama (1-0), 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2).
Line: Alabama by 36 .
Series record: Alabama leads 2-0.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Alabama blew out Louisville 51-14 and is trying to keep that momentum going, while continuing to fine tune before the Southeastern Conference opener at Mississippi. Arkansas State is hoping to make another big statement for its program and the Sun Belt after Appalachian State’s strong performance against No. 13 Penn State.
Arkansas State QB Justice Hansen against Alabama’s inexperienced secondary. Hansen passed for a school-record six touchdowns and accounted for 454 yards total offense against Southeast Missouri State. Alabama’s talented but young secondary is led by S Deionte Thompson and allowed 252 passing yards against Louisville.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Arkansas State: Hansen must have another big game if the Red Wolves are going to pull off the upset. The preseason Sun Belt offensive player of the year threw touchdown passes to six different receivers in the opener with four covering at least 26 yards.
Alabama: QB Tua Tagovailoa. Who else? The sophomore from Hawaii was officially named the Tide’s starter this week after a terrific starting debut while platooning with Jalen Hurts. He spread the ball around and made big plays and good decisions.
FACTS & FIGURES
This is the first time Arkansas State has played a defending national champion since the 2004 season against current Tide coach Nick Saban and LSU. The Tigers won 53-3. … The Tide has won 16 consecutive home openers, including all 11 under Saban. Alabama has also won an FBS-record 74 straight games against unranked opponents. … Alabama won the first meeting 34-7 in 1982 in Birmingham and the second 35-0 in 2008. … The Red Wolves’ 685 total yards in the opener was third most in school history.