- Associated Press - Thursday, September 8, 2016

Western Kentucky (1-0) at No. 1 Alabama (1-0), 3:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

Line: Alabama by 28-1/2.

Series Record: Alabama leads 2-0.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Alabama can show some maturity with a strong performance in between a 52-6 win over USC and a visit to No. 19 Mississippi for a grudge match. The Hilltoppers, meanwhile, can gain national respect if they’re competitive even if they don’t pull off a stunning upset. They’ve won 13 consecutive Conference USA games.

KEY MATCHUP

Alabama CB Marlon Humphrey vs. WR Taywan Taylor. Humphrey and the Tide secondary held USC star JuJu Smith-Schuster to one catch for 9 yards. Taylor averaged 113 receiving yards against Vanderbilt, Indiana and LSU last season and racked up 165 yards in the opener with Rice.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

WKU: QB Mike White. The South Florida transfer racked up 517 passing yards in his Hilltoppers debut, including eight plays of 25-plus yards. Both those numbers and his 16.7 yards per attempt were tops nationally on the season’s first weekend.

Alabama: QBs Blake Barnett/Jalen Hurts. Both young passers made some big plays in their college debuts, and both are likely to play in an apparently ongoing competition. Hurts passed for two touchdowns and ran for another pair. Both had long touchdown passes.

FACTS & FIGURES

Alabama is riding a 14-game winning streak in its home opener, including 9-0 under Saban. … WKU defensive coordinator Nick Holt and Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin were on USC’s staff together during the 2003 national championship season. …The Tide was also coming off national championship season and an opener in Arlington, Texas, when the teams last met in 2012. Alabama won 35-0. … Alabama’s 46-point win over then-No. 2 USC was its third-largest margin of victory against a ranked team, behind No. 21 Texas A&M; in 2014 (59-0) and 61-6 over No. 14 Syracuse (61-6) in the 1953 Orange Bowl.

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AP college football website: www.collegefootball.ap.org

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