No. 1 Alabama opens SEC slate visiting undefeated Vanderbilt
By The Associated Press
Sep. 21, 2017
No. 1 Alabama (3-0, 0-0 SEC) at Vanderbilt (3-0, 0-0), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS).
Line: Alabama by 18 ½.
Series record: Alabama leads 61-19-4.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
A perfect record for the winner in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams. Vanderbilt has never upset the top-ranked team in seven previous tries, while Alabama under coach Nick Saban has won 18 straight against the SEC East.
Vanderbilt QB Kyle Shurmur against Alabama's experienced secondary. Shurmur ranks fourth in the SEC averaging 234.3 yards passing, and he already has eight TDs — one off his total for all of 2016. Shurmur also has yet to be intercepted this season, while Alabama has five interceptions. Alabama S Minkah Fitzpatrick had six interceptions last season and has school record returning four for TDs in his career.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Alabama: QB Jalen Hurts. The sophomore is the third dual-threat quarterback Vanderbilt has faced this season, but bigger and stronger at 6-foot-2, 218 pounds. Hurts ranks fourth in the SEC averaging 104 yards per game rushing and 10th with 157.3 yards passing.
Vanderbilt: RB Ralph Webb. Vanderbilt's all-time leading rusher has been stymied so far this season with defenses focusing on stopping him. He ranks 18th all-time in SEC history with 3,491 yards, but Webb has only 149 yards rushing.
FACTS & FIGURES
Alabama has won 21 straight in this series overall and 18 straight in Nashville. Vanderbilt lists its skid at 12 straight back to Alabama's forfeit of a 17-6 win in 1993. Alabama also vacated 24-10 win in Nashville in 2007. Teams haven't met since 2011 when Alabama won 34-0 in Tuscaloosa. ... Vanderbilt hasn't beaten Alabama in Nashville since 1969. ... Alabama has won 18 straight against SEC East. ... This will be Saban's 54th game with Alabama ranked No. 1. He is 47-6 in such games. ... Saban is 9-1 in SEC road openers at Alabama and 11-4 all-time. ... Alabama has not allowed 100-yard rusher in 25 straight games. ... Vanderbilt has not played No. 1 team since losing to Florida in 2009 and last hosted top-ranked team in 1998. ... Commodores have nation's No. 1 defense in three categories: scoring with 4.3 points per game, total yards (198.3 yards) and yards passing (95.3 yards).
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