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

Preview capsule: No. 1 Alabama at Kentucky

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Mark Stoops and his Kentucky Wildcats will host Nick Saban and the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium. (AP Photos) Mark Stoops and his Kentucky Wildcats will host Nick Saban and the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium. (AP Photos)

Matchup:  No. 1 Alabama (5-0, 2-0 SEC) at Kentucky (1-4, 0-2)

Time:  6 p.m.

TV:  ESPN2

Line: Alabama by 27 1/2.

Last meeting: 2009 at Commonwealth Stadium -- Alabama 38, Kentucky 20

Series record: Alabama leads 35-2-1.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

West-leading Alabama resumes SEC play looking to pick up where it left off from a 25-0 shutout of Ole Miss 25-0 two weeks ago. The Crimson Tide also aim to maintain their dominance over Kentucky, which seeks to beat Alabama for the first time since 1997 and stop a 10-game SEC losing streak.

KEY MATCHUP

Kentucky's offensive line vs. Alabama's defensive front. The Wildcats were able to move the ball against South Carolina but need to step up their pass and run blocking against one of the SEC's top defenses.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Alabama:

Sophomore free safeties Landon Collins and Geno Smith stepped in for suspended Ha Ha Clinton-Dix with solid efforts against Georgia State. Good follow-ups are expected in the first of five straight SEC games.

Kentucky:

After alternating with Maxwell Smith, sophomore QB Jalen Whitlow took every snap last week at No. 13 South Carolina and led a comeback before falling short, 35-28. That effort has established the Alabama native as the starter and he enters against his home state team as Kentucky's top rusher with 238 yards and three touchdowns and No. 2 passer with 499 yards and three TDs on 68 percent accuracy.

FACTS & FIGURES

Saturday marks the first meeting between the teams since 2009. ... Alabama coach Nick Saban is 5-0 against Kentucky including three wins as LSU's coach. ... Kentucky DT Dante Rumph is the nephew of Alabama DL coach Chris Rumph. He's one of seven Wildcats from Alabama. ... Kentucky closes its first four-game stretch against ranked teams; the Wildcats have lost to No. 7 Louisville, No. 19 Florida and No. 13 South Carolina.

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