University of Alabama

Alabama football: Closer look at Crimson Tide's game today at South Carolina

No. 1 Alabama (5-0, 2-0 SEC) at No. 19 South Carolina (3-1, 1-1), 3:30 p.m. (CBS-3)

Line: Alabama by 6 1/2.

Series Record: Alabama leads 12-2.

Last Meeting: 2009, Alabama 20-6.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

A win over South Carolina would be Alabama’s 20th straight and continue the march to a second consecutive national title. South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier has his most talented team in six seasons and is anxious to show that after a 35-27 loss at Auburn.

KEY MATCHUP

Alabama’s RBs Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson against South Carolina’s defense. Ingram’s dash to the Heisman Trophy last year got a huge boost from his 246-yard effort in the South Carolina win. Richardson has shown he can be just as dangerous when Ingram missed Alabama’s first two games. The Gamecocks had been one of the SEC’s best against the rush the previous two years but have struggled this season.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Alabama: WR Julio Jones has caught 24 passes and two touchdowns to lead the Crimson Tide and might be Alabama’s best option if the Gamecocks contain the run.

South Carolina: RB Marcus Lattimore looked like he might be the SEC’s best back after a breakout performance against Georgia last month. But he gained only 33 yards against Auburn, and Alabama has not permitted a 100-yard rusher since the 2007 season.

FACTS & FIGURES

Alabama hasn’t lost an SEC regular-season contest since falling to Auburn at the end of 2007. … Alabama’s game at South Carolina ends a run of three straight ranked opponents after wins over Arkansas and Florida. … If the Gamecocks win, the athletics department would complete a triple play in this calendar year — beating No. 1 teams in the three major sports. South Carolina’s men’s basketball team beat No. 1 Kentucky in January before the baseball team eliminated No. 1 Arizona State on the way to the College World Series championship.

— Associated Press

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