Preview capsule: Colorado State at No. 1 Alabama - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Preview capsule: Colorado State at No. 1 Alabama

Posted: Updated:
Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron will take on his former offensive coordinator Jim McElwain when Colorado State visits Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday. McElwain is in his second season as the Rams head coach. (AP Photo) Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron will take on his former offensive coordinator Jim McElwain when Colorado State visits Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday. McElwain is in his second season as the Rams head coach. (AP Photo)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Colorado State (1-2) at No. 1 Alabama (2-0), 6 p.m. (ESPN2)

Line: Alabama by 39 1/2.

Series record: First meeting.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Alabama is trying to avoid a letdown in between a dramatic win over No. 10 Texas A&M and a game with No. 21 Mississippi. Colorado State is hoping to manage a stunner in its second matchup with a No. 1 team.

KEY MATCHUP

Alabama secondary versus QB Garrett Grayson. Grayson has passed for 606 yards with four touchdowns against two interceptions, but this is more about a secondary rebuilding confidence — and perhaps adjusting personnel — after getting picked apart by the Aggies' Johnny Manziel. CB Deion Belue is questionable with turf toe.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Alabama:

The running backs. T.J. Yeldon is clearly the primary runner but Kenyan Drake, Jalston Fowler and a couple of freshmen are still jockeying for carries. Nobody has stepped up as a clear No. 2, though Drake gained 50 yards against Texas A&M.

Colorado State:

RB Chris Nwoke. Nwoke has run for a team-best 236 yards but Kapri Bibbs isn't far behind with 201 yards and three touchdowns.

FACTS & FIGURES

It's the Crimson Tide's season debut at Bryant-Denny Stadium. ... Colorado State coach Jim McElwain was Alabama's offensive coordinator from 2008-11 and helped the Tide to a pair of national titles. ... Colorado State is 2-11 against teams currently in the Southeastern Conference. The Rams' only other game against a No. 1 team came against Southern California — led by Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush and LenDale White— in 2004. The Trojans won 49-0. ... Alabama S Vinnie Sunseri is trying to join Antonio Langham (1992) as the program's only player with non-offensive touchdowns in three consecutive games. Sunseri has returned interceptions for touchdowns against both Virginia Tech and Texas A&M.

Matchup

 CSUALA
W-L 1-2 2-0
Avg Points 29.3 42.0
Avg Points Allowed 29.3 26.0
Home Record 1-1 0-0
Road Record 0-1 2-0
Division Record 0-0 1-0
Conference Record 0-0 1-0

Passing Leaders

 
Colorado StCMP%YDSTDINT
G. Grayson 56.1 606 4 2
 
AlabamaCMP%YDSTDINT
A. McCarron 57.7 444 5 1

Rushing Leaders

 
Colorado StCARYDSAVGTD
C. Nwoke 47 236 5.0 1
K. Bibbs 35 201 5.7 3
 
AlabamaCARYDSAVGTD
T. Yeldon 42 224 5.3 2
K. Drake 7 50 7.1 1

Receiving Leaders

 
Colorado StRECYDSAVGTD
J. Vaden 8 105 13.1 1
R. Higgins 9 100 11.1 1
 
AlabamaRECYDSAVGTD
D. White 6 96 16.0 1
A. Cooper 6 72 12.0 0
  • Auburn University SportsMore>>

  • 2014 USA Today preseason coaches poll: FSU No. 1, Alabama No. 2, Auburn No. 5

    2014 USA Today preseason coaches poll: FSU No. 1, Alabama No. 2, Auburn No. 5

    Thursday, July 31 2014 1:40 PM EDT2014-07-31 17:40:23 GMT
    The 2014 USA Today preseason college football coaches poll was released Thursday and reigning national champion Florida State sits atop the rankings.More >>
    The 2014 USA Today preseason college football coaches poll was released Thursday and reigning national champion Florida State sits atop the rankings.More >>
  • Auburn football announces two-game series with Clemson

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 4:38 PM EDT2014-07-30 20:38:41 GMT
    Auburn and Clemson have agreed to a two-game series beginning in 2016. Auburn will host Clemson on Sept. 3, 2016 and play at Clemson's Memorial Stadium on Sept. 9, 2017.The programs have played 49 times in the past, including three times in the last five years. Auburn leads the all-time series 34-13-2 despite losing the last two times it's played Clemson, in 2011 and 2012.The agreement with Clemson will fulfill Auburn's obligation to play at least one non-conference opponent from a Power 5 co...More >>
    Auburn and Clemson have agreed to a two-game series beginning in 2016. Auburn will host Clemson on Sept. 3, 2016 and play at Clemson's Memorial Stadium on Sept. 9, 2017.The programs have played 49 times in the past, including three times in the last five years. Auburn leads the all-time series 34-13-2 despite losing the last two times it's played Clemson, in 2011 and 2012.The agreement with Clemson will fulfill Auburn's obligation to play at least one non-conference opponent from a Power 5 co...More >>
  • Auburn QB Nick Marshall pays $1,100 in fines for marijuana possession, window tint violations in Georgia

    Auburn QB Nick Marshall pays $1,100 in fines for marijuana possession, window tint violations in Georgia

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:33 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:33:03 GMT
    Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall has paid the fines for possession of a small amount of marijuana and a window tint violation.More >>
    Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall has paid the fines for possession of a small amount of marijuana and a window tint violation.
    More >>
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Small plane crash in Helena sends 4 to hospital with serious injuries

    Small plane crash in Helena sends 4 to hospital with serious injuries

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:29 PM EDT2014-08-01 01:29:14 GMT
    Authorities are investigating a small plane crash in Helena Thursday afternoon, a fire spokesman said.More >>
    Authorities are investigating a small plane crash in Helena Thursday afternoon, a fire spokesman said.More >>
  • Lackey goes from Red Sox to Cards for Kelly, Craig

    Lackey goes from Red Sox to Cards for Kelly, Craig

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:26 PM EDT2014-08-01 01:26:42 GMT
    The Boston Red Sox have traded right-hander John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals for right-hander Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig before Thursday's deadline, a person with knowledge of the deal said.More >>
    The Boston Red Sox traded right-hander John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals for right-hander Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig before Thursday's deadline.More >>
  • Lethal injections on hold in Alabama

    Lethal injections on hold in Alabama

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:19 PM EDT2014-08-01 01:19:47 GMT
    16 Alabama death row inmates have exhausted their appeals and are waiting to be executed. But, lethal injections will not be performed in the state at least until next spring. Republican state Senator Cam Ward says that will be the earliest lawmakers will be able to pass new legislation that will allow Alabama to get the drugs used for executions.Ward says that pharmaceutical companies are refusing to sell Alabama more drugs until they can get some type of protection or immunity. It's because...More >>
    16 Alabama death row inmates have exhausted their appeals and are waiting to be executed. But, lethal injections will not be performed in the state at least until next spring. Republican state Senator Cam Ward says that will be the earliest lawmakers will be able to pass new legislation that will allow Alabama to get the drugs used for executions.Ward says that pharmaceutical companies are refusing to sell Alabama more drugs until they can get some type of protection or immunity. It's because...More >>
  • Another decent start for Woods at Firestone

    Another decent start for Woods at Firestone

    Thursday, July 31 2014 7:50 PM EDT2014-07-31 23:50:46 GMT
    Tiger Woods took another step on one of his favorite courses toward showing his game might be turning around.More >>
    Tiger Woods showed signs of a positive recovery Thursday at the Bridgestone Invitational.More >>
  • Alabama gets commitment from 4-star cornerback Rico McGraw

    Alabama gets commitment from 4-star cornerback Rico McGraw

    Thursday, July 31 2014 7:47 PM EDT2014-07-31 23:47:50 GMT
    Alabama picked off another school's cornerback recruit. Four-star cornerback Rico McGraw flipped, verbally committing to Alabama after he had been committed to Georgia since January.The 6-foot, 190-pound McGraw is the No. 142 rated recruit according to 247Sports composite. He attends Ensworth High School in Nashville.McGraw is Alabama's 21st commitment for the 2015 class, and the Tide's second verbal of the week. Safety Ronnie Harrison committed to sign with Alabama on Monday.More >>
    Alabama picked off another school's cornerback recruit. Four-star cornerback Rico McGraw flipped, verbally committing to Alabama after he had been committed to Georgia since January.The 6-foot, 190-pound McGraw is the No. 142 rated recruit according to 247Sports composite. He attends Ensworth High School in Nashville.McGraw is Alabama's 21st commitment for the 2015 class, and the Tide's second verbal of the week. Safety Ronnie Harrison committed to sign with Alabama on Monday.More >>
  • Repairing burst Los Angeles main could take days

    Repairing burst Los Angeles main could take days

    Thursday, July 31 2014 7:20 PM EDT2014-07-31 23:20:05 GMT
    Hundreds of cars submerged below murky water. A landmark basketball court, newly refurbished, showing signs of buckling. Soaked and stained carpets. An athletic track coated in mud.More >>
    Repair crews on Thursday were shoring up a giant hole in the middle of Sunset Boulevard caused by a ruptured pipe, as officials at the water-logged University of California, Los Angeles, continued to assess damage from the...More >>
  • School leaders prepare for new era at Ramsay High School

    School leaders prepare for new era at Ramsay High School

    Thursday, July 31 2014 6:56 PM EDT2014-07-31 22:56:56 GMT
    It's the start of a new era at Ramsay High School after the district installed a new principal. Some parents and students were upset and very vocal about changing the school's leadership. The school district is expecting big things for Ramsay.More >>
    It's the start of a new era at Ramsay High School after the district installed a new principal. Some parents and students were upset and very vocal about changing the school's leadership. The school district is expecting big things for Ramsay.More >>
  • Trevor Releford signs with basketball club in Poland

    Trevor Releford signs with basketball club in Poland

    Thursday, July 31 2014 6:46 PM EDT2014-07-31 22:46:46 GMT
    Trevor Releford is taking his game abroad. The Alabama star signed a deal to play for the Polish team King Wilki Morskie in Szczecin next season.More >>
    Trevor Releford is taking his game abroad. The Alabama star signed a deal to play for the Polish team King Wilki Morskie in Szczecin next season.More >>