No. 1 Alabama hosts The Citadel after back-to-back shutouts
The Citadel (4-5) at No. 1 Alabama (10-0, No. 1 CFP), noon EST (SEC Network)
Line: no line.
Series record: First meeting.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Alabama is aiming to get QB Tua Tagovailoa (right knee) and others healthy for the Auburn game and the Southeastern Conference championship against No. 5 Georgia.
Alabama’s run defense against The Citadel’s rushing offense. The Tide ranks seventh nationally against the run and has effectively shut down the ground games of Mississippi State and LSU. The Citadel, an FCS team that runs the triple option, is averaging 291.9 rushing yards per game with 28 touchdowns on the ground.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
The Citadel: QB Brandon Rainey has run for 405 yards in the last two games, his only starts, against Samford and Western Carolina. He earned Southern Conference offensive player of the week honors after rushing for 217 yards in the Samford game, including 207 in the second half.
Alabama: QBs Jalen Hurts/Mac Jones. Tide wants to minimize the hits on Tagovailoa’s tender knee. No. 2 quarterback Hurts has missed the past two games with an ankle injury. Jones is 5-of-13 passing for 123 yards and a touchdown in nine games.
FACTS & FIGURES
Alabama could break the school record of 24 consecutive wins at home. The Tide matched the record set from 1971-74 last week against Mississippi State. ... Tide is 42-0-1 against Southern Conference teams, including a 56-0 win over Mercer last Nov. 18. ... Alabama is the first FBS team to open a season with 10 consecutive wins by 20-plus points. That also matches the previous record for such win streaks at any point in a season, set by Boise State in 2002. ... This is the third time The Citadel has faced defending national champions in the last five years, losing to Clemson 61-3 in 2017 and to Florida State 37-12 in 2014. ... The Citadel has outscored Samford and Western Carolina 63-3 in the second half, including eight rushing touchdowns.