Bama Diggs

Alabama defensive back Trevon Diggs celebrates a fumble recovery against Duke in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga. [MICKEY WELSH/MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER]

When: 3 p.m., Saturday

Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa

TV/Radio: SEC Network/FM-93.9, AM-920

The line: Alabama by 54.5


Four-down territory

1. A non-competitive game: No offense, but New Mexico State is not very good. The Aggies lost 58-7 last week at Washington State and are 20-54 in Doug Martin’s tenure. The best thing Alabama can hope for is to not get anybody hurt. New Mexico State gave up 618 yards last week, including 507 in the passing game.

2. Working on the run game: Alabama didn’t run the ball very well last week against Duke, so look for Nick Saban’s team to give the Aggies a heavy dose of run, run, and run. The Aggies allowed 111 rushing yards last week on only 20 carries, so look for all of Alabama’s running backs to get ample work.

3. Working on the passing game: Alabama showed off its explosiveness in the passing game last week, as Tua Tagovailoa threw for 336 yards and four touchdowns on 26 of 31 passing. New Mexico State allowed 507 passing yards to Washington State, so it’s easy to see why Alabama likely will be able to do anything it wants against the Aggies’ defense.

4. New Mexico State’s best players are: Running back/kick returner Jason Huntley and quarterback Josh Adkins, a sophomore. Huntley has five career kickoff returns for touchdowns, only two off the NCAA record. Adkins was 28 of 42 for 221 yards with two interceptions. He also scored New Mexico State’s first rushing TD by a quarterback since 2015.


Key matchup

Alabama’s kickoff return team vs. Jason Huntley

New Mexico State’s kick returner is a threat anytime he has the ball and would love nothing more than to return a kickoff for a score against the No. 2 Tide. If he has a big game, it will give Nick Saban something to go on a rant about.


Player of the week

Najee Harris, running back

Look for Harris to break out as Alabama places an emphasis on the running attack. When Harris and the other backs post big numbers, any concerns about the ground game will disappear.


By the numbers

0: Number of times Alabama and New Mexico State have played. This is their first meeting.

1: Common opponents between the two teams. New Mexico State will play at Ole Miss on Nov. 9. Alabama will soften up the Rebels for New Mexico State on Sept. 28.

21: Number of losses by Nick Saban in his 13 years at Alabama.

54: Number of losses by NMSU coach Doug Martin in his seven-year tenure.



Alabama 63, New Mexico State 0: A mismatch in every category, Alabama will name the score. With temperatures expected in the upper 90s, don’t be surprised if Alabama is leading 49-0 by halftime and the crowd has found its way out of Bryant-Denny Stadium and into some place cool.

— Gregg Dewalt


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