Alabama football vs. Arkansas State: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score

Crimson Tide battles Red Wolves

Jalen Hurts #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs the offense against the Colorado State Rams at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 16, 2017 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – There is no suspense about the Alabama quarterback situation this week as sophomore Tua Tagovailoa has been named the starter and will lead the top-ranked Crimson Tide against host Arkansas State on Saturday. Alabama coach Nick Saban made the declaration after Tagovailoa put on a stellar performance in his first career start as the Crimson Tide drubbed Louisville 51-14 in their opener.

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2. LINE: Alabama -36.5

 

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Tagovailoa completed 12-of-16 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for one score against Louisville while two-year starter Jalen Hurts guided Alabama to just three points off the bench. "Everybody knows that Tua's gonna start and we're gonna use Jalen's skill set in the future," Saban said at a press conference. "Tua is instinctive and got the ball to the right place most of the time." The defending national champions don't figure to get much of a test from Arkansas State, which defeated Southeast Missouri 48-21 in its opener. "We have to improve quickly before we go play the No. 1 team in the country," Red Wolves coach Blake Anderson told reporters. "It's not so much that we are playing Alabama, it is just that we have to improve overall and play the way we are capable.”

ABOUT ARKANSAS STATE (1-0)

Senior quarterback Justice Hansen was superb in the opener by throwing a school-record six touchdown passes while completing 26-of-36 passes for 423 yards. Six different players caught touchdown passes for the Red Wolves, who posted the third most prolific offensive game in school history with 685 yards of total offense. Arkansas State racked up 11 tackles for loss - senior defensive end Dajon Emory had two - while limiting Southeast Missouri to 285 yards.

ABOUT ALABAMA (1-0)

Tagovailoa tossed two touchdown passes to sophomore wideout Jerry Jeudy and looked sharp in the follow-up to his stellar effort in last season's College Football Playoff title game when he came off the bench to throw three touchdowns in the win over Georgia. Junior running back Josh Jacobs also recorded two touchdowns - one rushing, one kickoff return - as the Crimson Tide outgained Louisville 519-268 and held the Cardinals to 16 rushing yards. Junior safety Shyheim Carter made one of the big defensive plays with a 45-yard interception return for a touchdown while junior safety Deonte Thompson also picked off a pass and sophomore nose guard Quinnen Williams had 3.5 tackles for loss.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Alabama won the two previous meetings by an average of 31 points.

2. Red Wolves junior WR Dahu Green (broken ankle) - a transfer from Oklahoma - suffered a season-ending injury in the opener.

3. Crimson Tide freshman WR Jaylen Waddle had three receptions for 66 yards and returned four punts for 80 yards in his college debut.

PREDICTION: Alabama 55, Arkansas State 13

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