TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Top-ranked Alabama looks to keep rolling up the points when it hosts Missouri in an SEC contest on Saturday. The Crimson Tide are coming off a season-high point total in a 65-31 victory over Arkansas to raise their national-best average to 56 points per game.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Alabama -28
Alabama has topped 50 points in five of its six games and coach Nick Saban insisted that the Tigers -- who have allowed an average of 40 while losing their past two games -- are a tough opponent for his club. "This is by far the best offensive team we've played to this point," Saban said during a press conference. "Certainly a very good front seven on defense, difficult to run the ball against. ... They've lost two close games to two really good teams, so this is by far the biggest challenge we've had all season long." Missouri was outclassed by SEC foes Georgia and South Carolina in its past two games and coach Barry Odom is attempting to keep his team's spirits up. "Believe me, we're not walking around singing and dancing like everything's alright," Odom told reporters. "We've got a lot of ball to play. I think we can be a lot better team and I look forward to doing it with this group."
ABOUT MISSOURI (3-2, 0-2 SEC)
The Tigers are averaging 39 points per game behind senior quarterback Drew Lock, who has passed for 1,487 yards and 11 touchdowns against four interceptions. Sophomore Larry Rountree III (383 yards) and junior Damarea Crockett (353) have been productive on the ground with Crockett piling up 154 yards for his seventh career 100-yard outing in last weekend's 37-35 loss to South Carolina. Senior linebacker Terez Hall posted a season-best 11 tackles against the Gamecocks and his 32 stops rank second on the squad behind junior linebacker Cale Garrett (38).
ABOUT ALABAMA (6-0, 3-0)
Sophomore quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is emerging as the Heisman Trophy favorite after reaching the midway point of the season with 18 touchdowns against zero interceptions, a 75.2 percent completion rate and 1,495 passing yards. Five different players have over 300 receiving yards and three of them average more than 20 yards per catch with sophomore receiver Jerry Jeudy leading the team in receptions (23), receiving yardage (558), average (24.3) and touchdown catches (eight). The defense has returned four interceptions for scores and racked up 43 tackles for loss, including 19 sacks (senior defensive end Isaiah Buggs has a team-leading six).
1. This is the first meeting since Alabama defeated Missouri 42-13 in the 2014 SEC Championship Game in Atlanta.
2. Tigers WR Emanuel Hall (team-leading 430 receiving yards) will miss his second straight game with hamstring and groin injuries, while fellow senior Nate Brown (12 receptions) is expected to play after missing the South Carolina game with a groin injury.
3. Crimson Tide junior CB Trevon Diggs (broken foot) is out indefinitely after being injured against Arkansas.
PREDICTION: Alabama 58, Missouri 26
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