College Football
Preview
Kentucky at Alabama
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, October 1, 2016
Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Top-ranked Alabama seeks to extend the nation's longest winning streak to 17 games when it hosts Kentucky on Saturday in SEC play. The streak is the second longest during the tenure of coach Nick Saban behind a 19-game stretch in 2009-10 and the seventh longest in Crimson Tide history.

The chances of Kentucky ending the streak rank pretty low as the Wildcats have beaten Alabama just twice in school history and coach Mark Stoops recognizes the difficulties. "We have a very tall task, as you know, playing an amazing football team and an amazing program," Stoops said at a press conference. "They're the No. 1 team in the country for a good reason. They are absolutely a quality team from top to bottom. It will be challenging but will be exciting." The Crimson Tide hope to have sophomore running back Damien Harris (345 yards, 8.6 average) available after he suffered an ankle injury in last Saturday's trouncing of Kent State. Harris, a former Kentucky high school star, narrowed his choices to the Wildcats, Alabama and Ohio State before jilting his home-state school and choosing Alabama.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Alabama -35

ABOUT KENTUCKY (2-2, 1-1 SEC): The Wildcats are effective on the ground with an average of 196.8 yards per game as both junior Stanley "Boom" Williams (464 yards, 8.0 average) and freshman Benny Snell (209 yards, 6.3 average) have played well. Junior quarterback Stephen Johnson made his first career start last Saturday and went 11-of-19 passing for 138 yards in a victory over South Carolina and he may hold the job the rest of the season after Drew Barker's back injury leaves his status unclear. Sophomore weak-side linebacker Jordan Jones has a team-leading 43 tackles while sophomore strong-side linebacker Josh Allen and sophomore defensive end Denzil Ware share the team lead with three sacks.

ABOUT ALABAMA (4-0, 1-0): Freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts has been superb while passing for 727 yards and five touchdowns and adding 251 yards and three scores on the ground. If Harris doesn't play, freshman Joshua Jacobs is in line for increased duty after producing 97 yards and two touchdowns on just 11 carries versus Kent State. The Crimson Tide have allowed 59 points - 43 were in one game by Ole Miss - and thrives behind star players such as senior safety Eddie Jackson (nine career interceptions), senior defensive end Jonathan Allen (three sacks), senior weak-side linebacker Reuben Foster (team-best 29 tackles) and senior strong-side linebacker Ryan Anderson (three sacks).

EXTRA POINTS

1. Alabama leads the series 36-2-1 and posted a 48-7 victory in 2013 in the most recent meeting.

2. The Wildcats haven't defeated the Crimson Tide since 1997 when future NFL No. 1 overall pick Tim Couch guided them to a 40-34 overtime victory.

3. Junior CB Tony Brown, who reportedly failed a drug test last December, and sophomore DT Johnny Dwight return to the team after serving NCAA-mandated four-game suspensions, while junior WR ArDarius Stewart (knee) is questionable and could miss his second straight game.

PREDICTION: Alabama 52, Kentucky 13
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Kentucky 2-2 W2 30.2 35.2 2-1 0-1 2-2 0-0 1-1
Alabama 4-0 W4 46.5 14.8 3-0 1-0 2-0 0-0 1-0
Last Meeting
Kentucky Alabama
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
10/12/13 ALA 48 UK 7 170 94 76 668 299 369
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Kentucky M. Smith 43.8 76 1 0
Alabama A. McCarron 60.0 359 1 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Kentucky R. Sanders III 14 72 5.1 0
Alabama T. Yeldon 16 124 7.8 2
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Kentucky J. Blue 2 44 22.0 1
Alabama K. Norwood 4 81 20.2 1
Touchdowns Player TD
Kentucky J. Blue 1
Alabama K. Drake 2
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Kentucky S. Johnson 65.9 490 3 1
Alabama J. Hurts 62.7 727 5 1
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Kentucky S. Williams 58 464 8.0 2
Alabama D. Harris 40 345 8.6 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Kentucky J. Badet 8 245 30.6 1
Alabama C. Ridley 20 224 11.2 1
Touchdowns Player TD
Kentucky B. Snell Jr. 5
Alabama J. Hurts 3
Quickchart Matchup
Kentucky Kentucky Off vs  Alabama Alabama Def
Kentucky 408.8 yards
Alabama 281.5 yards
Kentucky 5.1 yards/rush
Alabama 2.4 yards/rush
Kentucky 9.9 yards/attempt
Alabama 6.5 yards/attempt
Alabama Alabama Off vs  Kentucky Kentucky Def
Alabama 483.5 yards
Kentucky 471.5 yards
Alabama 5.5 yards/rush
Kentucky 4.3 yards/rush
Alabama 7.6 yards/attempt
Kentucky 8.3 yards/attempt