No. 2 Alabama hosts Louisiana-Monroe after Texas squeaker
Louisiana-Monroe (1-1) at No. 1 Alabama (2-0), Saturday, 4 p.m. ET (SEC Network)
Line: Alabama by 49 1/2 according to Fanduel Sportsbook.
Series record: Alabama leads 2-1.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Alabama wants to clean up its act after a 15-penalty game against Texas, and to get its mostly quiet wide receivers going before entering Southeastern Conference play. ULM would love to give the Sun Belt Conference another huge upset after league teams toppled Notre Dame and Texas A&M last weekend.
Alabama’s receivers against ULM’s secondary. Georgia transfer Jermaine Burton, Traeshon Holden and the other Tide pass catchers would love to make a statement and build confidence. They were ineffective in the first three quarters against Texas. Tailback Jahmyr Gibbs is leading the team with 10 catches. Tyler Harrell and JoJo Earle have missed the first two games with foot injuries, so that certainly hasn’t helped.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Alabama: Burton seemed a likely candidate to become a go-to receiver for Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young. The Georgia transfer is off to a slow start for the Tide. He has seven catches for 45 yards but did have a couple of touchdowns in the opener against Utah State.
ULM: QB Chandler Rogers has completed 77.3% of his passes in the first two games for 361 yards and two touchdowns against one interception.
FACTS & FIGURES
ULM was the last nonconference opponent to beat Alabama in the regular season. Nick Saban hasn’t lost such a game since 2007 when the Tide fell to both Florida State and ULM before starting a 54-game win streak. ... ULM coach Terry Bowden is 3-3 against Alabama, all from his tenure at Auburn from 1993-98. ... If you take away three sacks, Young is averaging 18.3 yards on his nine rushes with a touchdown.
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