Alabama football: Closer look at Crimson Tide's game against Kent State

September 3, 2011 

Kent State at No. 2 Alabama

Time: 12:21 p.m.

TV/Radio: FOX-54/ WIOL-FM 95.7, 8 a.m.

Line: Alabama by 38.

Series Record: First meeting.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Alabama would like for AJ McCarron or Phillip Sims to emerge as a clear No. 1 quarterback before a visit to Penn State. Both will play. Kent State is hoping for a strong debut under coach Darrell Hazell, formerly an Ohio State assistant.

KEY MATCHUP

Alabama’s secondary, led by All-American safety Mark Barron and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, vs. Kent State QB Spencer Keith, whose 58.1 percent completion percentage is second-best in school history.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Kent St.: DE Roosevelt Nix. Nix earned MAC defensive player of the year honors after racking up 10 sacks and forcing four fumbles.

Alabama: RB Trent Richardson. The two-year backup to Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram is now considered a potential Heisman contender.

FACTS & FIGURES

This is the second time Alabama coach Nick Saban has faced his alma mater. His Toledo team beat Kent State 28-14 in 1990. ... Hazell spent the last seven seasons at Ohio State. ... Crimson Tide is expected to start Barrett Jones, normally a starting guard, at left tackle. ... Alabama has won 10 straight nonconference games and hasn’t lost a regular season game outside the SEC since 2007. ... Kent State has lost all nine meetings with SEC teams but hasn’t faced one since playing Kentucky four years ago.

-- Associated Press

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