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45


Georgia State (0-4) at (1) Alabama (4-0)



Saturday, October 5, 12:21 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Scott Haynes, Senior College Football Editor

GAME NOTES: It's Homecoming in Tuscaloosa this weekend, as the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide play host to the Georgia State Panthers.

The two-time defending champion has opened the 2013 season with four straights wins, including victories over sixth-ranked Texas A&M (49-42) and most recently, 21st-ranked Ole Miss (25-0) in SEC West action. Nick Saban's team has won three of the last four national titles overall and has positioned itself to play for another one, heading into the second half of the season.

The Panthers are in their inaugural season of FBS play and are obviously taking a huge step up in competition this week. Trent Miles' squad has dropped four straight games to begin his tenure with the squad, three of which have come against FCS foes Samford (31-21), Chattanooga (42-14) and most recently, Jacksonville State (32-26 OT). The lone FBS foe on the docket resulted in a 41-7 drubbing at West Virginia. Georgia State was idle last week.

The overtime loss to Jacksonville State last time out wasn't easy to take according to Miles.

"That last game was a tough game. We felt we had a chance to win the game, but we didn't get it done. When you lose a game and then have to wait a long time to play, it's hard, but we had a great open week."

Miles knows what he's up against this weekend in Tuscaloosa.

"They are impressive in everything they do. They're so big, physical, fast and well-coached," Miles said of the Crimson Tide. "But we're excited to go play and compete against the best."

This marks the second meeting between these two programs. The first matchup took place in 2010, a 63-7 rout by Alabama.

The Panthers aren't exactly an offensive juggernaut in their first season at the FBS level. The team is averaging 346.5 yards per game, with the most success coming via the pass (249.5 ypg). However, sustaining drives hasn't been a strength, with GSU converting just 36 percent of the time on third down.

Sophomore quarterback Ronnie Bell has struggled with consistency, completing just 46.0 percent of his passes, for 774 yards (193.5 ypg), with five touchdowns and three interceptions. Bell is looking the way of Albert Wilson more often than not and for good reason. The 5-foot-9 senior wide receiver is averaging over 114 yards receiving per game, leading the team in receptions (22), receiving yards (457) and TD catches (4).

The ground game averages a modest 97.0 yards per game, led by senior tailback Travis Evans' 188 yards (4.5 ypc).

The Panthers have really had problems defensively this season, getting gashed by both the run (218.2 ypg) and the pass (249.8 ypg). Opponents have scored on 82 percent of their red zone trips (14-of-17) and 65 percent of the time it results in a touchdown (11-of-17). Big plays have been few and far between, with Georgia State recording just five sacks and four takeaways thus far.

Sophomore linebacker Tarris Batiste leads the team in total tackles (24) and TFL (4.5). Senior safety Rashad Stewart is a close second in stops (23). Senior cornerback Brent McClendon (20 tackles) is responsible for half of the team's takeaways, with one interception and one fumble recovery.

It wasn't a typical offensive performance by Alabama, but the team did ride a strong rushing effort from T.J. Yeldon to a big victory over Ole Miss last week. Yeldon rushed for 121 yards, including a 68-yard TD-scamper.

All-American quarterback AJ McCarron didn't have a particularly strong game against the Rebels, but has still be solid overall this season, completing 68.2 percent of his throws, for 882 yards and six touchdowns. There are several threats in the vertical game, including Christion Jones (17 catches, 210 yards, one TD) and DeAndrew White (11 catches, 167 yards, two TDs). They have stepped up in the absence of sophomore star Amari Cooper, who has struggled to get on the field.

Still, like in year's past, Alabama dominates up front and can grind games out with a steady rushing attack. In 2013, it is Yeldon that leads the charge, averaging 6.0 ypc and pacing the team with 394 yards and three TDs.

What was normal last week against Ole Miss was the defensive effort for Alabama, which held the usually potent Rebels (490 ypg) to a meager 205 total yards.

On the season, opponents are averaging a mere 14.5 ppg against UA, including just 103.5 yards rushing. All-American linebacker C.J. Mosley is the heart- and-soul of the unit. The 6-2, 232-pound senior leads the Crimson Tide in total tackles by a large margin with 35 stops. All-American candidate Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (6-1, 208-pound safety) is second on the team in tackles (24) from the safety position. However, Clinton-Dix was suspended indefinitely this week for a violation of team rules. Junior safety Vinnie Sunseri (15 tackles, two interceptions) is another playmaker in the Alabama secondary and will need to elevate his game even more with Clinton-Dix not on the field.

Despite the obvious mismatch in this game, Saban knows his team needs to stay focused.

"There is nothing to be taken for granted in any team that you play. I think the best way to do that is focus on who you are, what you're doing, how you want to improve and how you want to play to be the best player that you can be. That is certainly going to be our focus for this week."

The reality is that this contest should afford Saban the ability to empty his bench and get a lot of backups much needed playing time.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Alabama 63, Georgia State 3

10/03 08:02:18 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ECU 58
FRES 52
Final
CIN 59
NCCU 50
 
12:00pm Today
UNC
BUT
2:30pm Today
ECU
HAW
5:00pm Tonight
DUKE
FUR
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
POR
7:00pm Tonight
NCSU
RICH
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
CAR
Final
WAS 102
ATL 106
Final
MIA 97
GSW 114
Final
MIL 98
DET 86
Final
NOP 89
SAC 99
Final
DEN 114
CHI 109
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
BRK
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
GSW
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
POR
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
WAS
7:30pm Tonight
DET
LAC
7:30pm Tonight
DAL
NYK
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
MIL
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
SAC
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
UTA
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
IND
9:00pm Tonight
PHO
DEN
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MEM
Final
UMO 21
OHIO 24
Final
ECU 58
FRES 52
Final
ELON 74
MRGST 73
 
Final
MIZZ 61
PURD 82
Final
MAR 55
HAW 62
Final
UNF 77
LIB 57
 
Final
CHAM 85
BYU 121
Final
BUCK 58
MDES 55
Final
UGST 85
WCU 70
Final
UWGB 64
EVAN 62
Final
ARST 71
ALA 76
Final
OHIO 69
ARKPB 60
 
Final
UNH 75
BU 68
 
Final
OU 70
CHIST 57
Final
TOL 79
DET 82
Final
CLMB 57
FD 47
 
Final
QUIN 50
HART 54
 
Final
SFLA 71
HOF 70
Final
HARV 84
HOU 63
Final
BONA 79
JST 71
 
Final
STJOE 74
LIU 70
 
Final
SYR 70
GHND 37
 
Final
MLOWELL 102
MTIDA 57
 
Final
CIN 59
NCCU 50
 
Final
VT 54
NIOWA 73
Final
WOFF 82
OHVALLEY 54
 
Final
TEMPL 76
PENN 67
Final
RUTG 50
PETE 68
Final
BGU 62
SEMIZ 54
Final
LAS 73
Terriers 60
 
Final
UVA 79
TENST 36
Final
KENT 92
TXARL 44
Final
FSU 66
CITA 55
Final
PBY 63
TOCC 40
 
Final
COOK 56
TENNM 74
 
Final
WMARY 83
WILL 49
Final
USB 71
WKENT 61
 
Final
HIGH 88
WMPEACE 71
 
Final
SMU 72
ARK 78
Final
ARMY 80
BING 54
 
Final
CSOU 80
CARK 67
 
Final
UMBC 54
HOW 68
 
Final
ARZ 72
KYST 68
Final
OREG 63
VCU 77
Final
PSU 78
AKR 72
Final
SCST 92
CIU 55
 
Final
CREI 75
EILL 53
Final
ALAAM 61
JVST 67
 
Final
ABCHRIST 91
JCHR 65
 
Final
TXSA 57
LOYC 71
Final
NDST 64
MNCROOK 63
 
Final
NEB 80
NEOM 67
Final
VANDY 63
NORST 53
 
Final
STLU 57
NCAT 54
 
Final
MTST 65
NARZ 53
Final
TTU 75
NWST 64
 
Final
TULA 74
SOUTH 59
 
Final
ILLCH 87
STXAVIER 76
 
Final
TEX 78
RFLSH 46
Final
BRAD 52
TAMCC 38
 
Final
SMISS 72
TROY 70
Final
DRAK 73
IUPUI 60
Final
ARKST 58
LAM 63
 
Final
FLGC 62
USF 47
Final
COL 68
AFA 53
Final
IDAHO 75
BSU 86
Final
GRCN 64
BUF 80
 
Final
ORU 52
LALAF 76
Final
CHAR 74
MIAMI 77
Final
ISU 63
MD 72
Final
UMO 46
NW 55
Final
SACST 97
BRISTOL 63
 
Final
MICH 55
VILL 60
Final
SDST 74
PITT 57
Final
USC 53
CSFU 49
Final
STAN 84
DEL 47
12:00pm Today
UNC
BUT
12:00pm Today
FRES
MAR
12:00pm Today
CHAT
RMU
12:00pm Today
EMICH
ROCH
 
1:30pm Today
MRGST
LIB
 
2:00pm Today
HAMP
AMER
 
2:00pm Today
BEL
DEN
 
2:00pm Today
UMASS
NE
 
2:00pm Today
JMU
SHU
 
2:00pm Today
KNST
SAMF
 
2:30pm Today
ECU
HAW
2:30pm Today
CHAM
MIZZ
 
2:30pm Today
OKLA
UCLA
 
2:30pm Today
CCAR
LAMON
 
4:00pm Today
ELON
UNF
 
4:00pm Today
UWMIL
ORU
 
4:30pm Today
WCU
CHIST
 
5:00pm Tonight
DUKE
FUR
 
5:00pm Tonight
BYU
PURD
 
6:00pm Tonight
EVAN
USF
7:00pm Tonight
COL
GTDNS
 
7:00pm Tonight
VERM
BRY
 
7:00pm Tonight
OSU
CAMP
 
7:00pm Tonight
CORN
CAN
 
7:00pm Tonight
LOU
CLST
 
7:00pm Tonight
UCF
DAVID
 
7:00pm Tonight
IONA
DELST
 
7:00pm Tonight
OU
UGST
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOWS
GOUCHER
 
7:00pm Tonight
ND
GRAM
 
7:00pm Tonight
YALE
LAF
 
7:00pm Tonight
GWU
LONG
 
7:00pm Tonight
VT
UMO
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAKE
MNTER
 
7:00pm Tonight
NAVY
PSUHARRIS
 
7:00pm Tonight
NCSU
RICH
 
7:00pm Tonight
MINN
STJ
 
7:00pm Tonight
JVU
TRINBAPT
 
7:00pm Tonight
YOUNG
UMKC
 
7:00pm Tonight
UAB
WISC
 
7:30pm Tonight
PITT
KYST
 
7:30pm Tonight
WVU
VMI
 
8:00pm Tonight
DEP
LEH
 
8:00pm Tonight
UNT
MVSU
 
8:00pm Tonight
MARS
MORE
8:00pm Tonight
TCU
RAD
 
8:00pm Tonight
SELA
TENT
 
8:00pm Tonight
SMU
TXSOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
UTAH
TXPA
 
8:00pm Tonight
LMU
UCR
8:00pm Tonight
SCAR
UNCA
 
8:00pm Tonight
SD
WAYNEST
 
8:30pm Tonight
UWGB
FLGC
8:30pm Tonight
IOWA
NILL
9:00pm Tonight
ORST
AUB
 
9:00pm Tonight
MONT
CARROLLMT
 
9:00pm Tonight
SUTAH
EKENT
 
9:00pm Tonight
NMST
FAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
WYO
STET
 
9:05pm Tonight
EWASH
NKENTUCKY
 
9:05pm Tonight
IDST
WLVRN
 
9:30pm Tonight
GEOR
UF
 
9:30pm Tonight
GONZ
UGA
 
9:30pm Tonight
NIOWA
NW
 
10:00pm Tonight
SDST
ARZ
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
CPSL
 
10:00pm Tonight
UCD
UTST
 
10:30pm Tonight
NDAK
ALAST
 
11:00pm Tonight
CSNO
PORST
 
11:30pm Tonight
AKAN
PAC
 
11:30pm Tonight
OKST
TULSA
 
Final
CLB 2
WIN 4
Final
NAS 4
LOS 3
Final
STL 2
OTT 3
Final
DAL 3
EDM 2
Final
ARI 3
COL 4
Final
ANA 3
CAL 2
Final
VAN 2
NJD 0
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
WAS
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
WIN
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
CAR
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
NYR
7:30pm Tonight
DET
PHI
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
LOS
9:00pm Tonight
COL
CHI
 
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
CAL