- Associated Press - Thursday, September 10, 2015

Middle Tennessee (1-0) at No. 2 Alabama (1-0), 4 p.m. (SEC Network)

Line: Alabama by 35.

Series Record: Alabama leads 2-0.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

It’s Round 2 of Alabama’s in-game quarterback competition, though Jake Coker started the opener ahead of Cooper Bateman and played well. Middle Tennessee wants to pull off a stunning upset and beat a Southeastern Conference team other than Vanderbilt for the first time.

KEY MATCHUP

Alabama’s formidable defense against an offense that scored 70 points in the opener against Jackson State. It matched the second most points scored in the program’s 101-year history. The Crimson Tide, meanwhile, limited Wisconsin to 268 total yards, including 40 on the ground.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Middle Tennessee: S Kevin Byard is tied for first in career interceptions (15) nationally among active players. His 327 yards in interception returns is also tops. Byard has started 38 consecutive games.

Alabama: QBs Coker and Bateman. Coach Nick Saban is adamant that this game is about winning not finding a decisive winner in the QB battle. Ideally, the Tide would almost certainly like to settle the matter in some fashion before playing No. 17 Mississippi next week, though.

FACTS & FIGURES

Alabama won the first two meetings but they weren’t exactly blowouts. The Tide won 26-7 in 2005 and just 39-34 in 2002. … Alabama has won 13 consecutive home openers, including all eight under Saban. The Tide also has won 16 straight at Bryant-Denny Stadium… Middle Tennessee is 3-19 against SEC teams with all three wins coming against Vanderbilt (the last in 2005). … The Blue Raiders have 38 interceptions in their last 31 games defensively.

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