- Associated Press - Thursday, September 22, 2016

Kent State (1-2) at No. 1 Alabama (3-0), 12 p.m. (SEC Network)

Line: Alabama by 44.

Series Record: Alabama leads 1-0.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Alabama coach Nick Saban faces his alma mater before resuming Southeastern Conference play.

KEY MATCHUP

Alabama running game vs. Kent State’s defense. The Crimson Tide has still put up big rushing numbers with QB Jalen Hurts and big plays from Damien Harris but could get back to using more physical, between-the-tackles runs than employed at times against Mississippi. Kent State held Monmouth to seven points, the first time an opponent has failed to reach double digits since 2013.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Kent State: S Nate Holley’s 15.7 tackles per game ranks second nationally while he’s leading the nation in solo tackles (9.0 a game).

Alabama: RB Bo Scarbrough. Harris’s backup hasn’t done much so far, producing just 68 yards on 23 carries while scoring three touchdowns. Freshmen B.J. Emmons and Joshua Jacobs are lurking behind the former five-star recruit for playing time. If the game goes as expected, they could all get their chances.

FACTS & FIGURES

Saban was on the 1972 Kent State team that won the program’s only conference championship. That team also included Hall of Fame linebacker Jack Lambert and former Missouri coach Gary Pinkel. … Kent State is 0-12 against SEC teams, with seven of the losses coming against Kentucky. Saban, meanwhile, has a 14-1 record against current members of the Mid-American Conference. … The Tide has scored five non-offensive touchdowns in three games, including three against Ole Miss. … Alabama has won 21 of its last 22 games at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

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