Overall: Seventh Meeting (Alabama leads, 4-2) Current Streak: Alabama, Won 4 Last Meeting: Oct. 13, 2018 (W, 39-10) Series Notes: Alabama and Missouri will meet for the seventh time in series history when the two teams match up for the 2020 season opener. The Crimson Tide holds a 4-2 (.667) advantage in the previous six pairings and has won the last four matchups after dropping the first two games of the series. The most recent meeting between the two schools came on Oct. 13, 2018, in Tuscaloosa for Homecoming with the Crimson Tide securing a 39-10 victory.
OPENING DAY SUCCESS UNDER SABAN: Alabama has been dominant in season openers under head coach Nick Saban. The Tide is a perfect 13-0 under Saban and has won in impressive fashion. Alabama has outscored its opponents 528-144 in those games and has outgained the opposition, 5,743-2,685. The Tide has averaged 40.6 points per opening contest under Saban and given up just 11.1 points per game. UA has also amassed 441.8 total yards per opener and surrendered just 206.5 yards per matchup. ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Alabama will begin the 2020 season on the road against Missouri. It will be the first time the Crimson Tide has begun a season with a true road game since 2000 when UA traveled west to take on UCLA on Sept. 2 of that year. The Bruins handed the Crimson Tide a 35-24 loss in that matchup. Saturday’s contest with the Tigers will also be the first time Alabama has begun its season on the road against a conference opponent since 1999 when the Tide squared off with Vanderbilt, a 28-17 win for UA. Overall, Alabama is 16-11-1 when beginning its season with a true road matchup, including a 12-3 mark over its last 15 games. SABAN’S ROAD RECORD: Head coach Nick Saban owns a 74-32-1 (.696) mark in road games across his four career stops, including a 46-9 (.836) mark while at Alabama. Saban has notched seven perfect road records (2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016 and 2018) and has lost more than one game on the road in only two seasons (2007, 2010). Alabama has also won 32 of its last 36 road games dating back to the 2011 campaign. SABAN IN SEC ROAD GAMES: Head coach Nick Saban owns a 56-16 (.778) mark in SEC road games across his time at LSU and Alabama, including a 44-8 (.846) mark with the Crimson Tide. Saban has notched eight perfect SEC road seasons (2003, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016 and 2018). SABAN IN SEC ROAD OPENERS: Nick Saban is 12-1 (.923) in SEC road openers since he arrived in 2007, with the lone loss coming at Ole Miss in 2014. Counting his time at LSU, Saban is 14-4 (.778) in the opening road game of SEC play in his previous 18 SEC seasons. Saban is also 9-0 at Alabama when the Tide’s first Southeastern Conference game of the season is on the road. EASTERN STREAK: Alabama’s 35-13 home win over Tennessee on Oct. 19 of last season was the Crimson Tide’s 26th consecutive victory over an SEC Eastern Division opponent, dating back to a 35-21 loss at then-No. 19 South Carolina on Oct. 9, 2010. The 26 wins include a 5-0 record in SEC Championship Games. During the current run, the Tide is 10-0 vs. Tennessee; 4-0 vs. Florida (2-0 in SEC CG) and Georgia (2-0 in SEC CG, 1-0 in CFP NCG); 3-0 vs. Missouri (1-0 in SEC CG); 2-0 vs. Kentucky and Vanderbilt; and 1-0 vs. South Carolina. Overall, under Nick Saban the Crimson Tide is 36-3 (.923) against the SEC East, including a 6-1 (.857) record in the SEC Championship Game. UNRANKED, NO PROBLEM UNDER SABAN: With its 66-3 win against Western Carolina on Nov. 23, 2019, Alabama has defeated 91 consecutive unranked teams under head coach Nick Saban, the longest streak in FBS history. The current streak began with a win over Colorado on December 30, 2007 in the Independence Bowl. The previous record was 72 games, shared by Miami (Fla.) (1984-95) and Florida (1989-2000). Under Saban, Alabama holds a 95-3 (.969) (91-3, .968 after vacations) mark against unranked opponents.
ALABAMA IN THE AP POLL: Alabama’s No. 3 ranking in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 Poll marks the 199th consecutive week that the Crimson Tide has appeared in the poll. That streak is the longest active streak in college football. The 199 weeks more than doubles second-place Clemson with the Tigers appearing in the poll for 88 consecutive weeks. Ohio State previously held the second-longest streak behind the Crimson Tide but did not appear in the Week 2 iteration of the poll. Prior to their absence, the Buckeyes had appeared in the AP rankings for 132 straight weeks. Alabama’s 199 straight weeks tops the Crimson Tide’s previous program long streak of 71 straight weeks under head coach Gene Stallings in the mid-1990s.
A NEW ERA BEGINS AT THE #NEWZOU ^ Mizzou Football is set to begin a new era as first-year head coach Eliah Drinkwitz takes the helm of the storied and tradition-rich Tiger program during its 130th season. Drinkwitz’s Tigers have a tall task in front of them as No. 2/2 Alabama heads to Columbia for the first time since 2012 for a 6 p.m. kickoff on ESPN. Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge, Allison Williams and Todd McShay will be on the call for the national broadcast. A QUICK LOOK AT MIZZOU’S FIRST-YEAR BENCH BOSS ^ A winner at every stage of his coaching career, Eliah Drinkwitz – considered one of college football’s top offensive minds – was named the 33rd head football coach at the University of Missouri in December 2019. Drinkwitz takes over at Mizzou following an impressive 2019 season at Appalachian State, where he led the 20th-ranked Mountaineers to a 12-1 record and a Sun Belt Conference championship. ^ Drinkwitz’s offensive acumen has been a key element in his teams winning five conference championships while compiling a perfect 8-0 bowl game record in 10 seasons at the FBS level. The combined record of his teams from 2010-19 is 98-34 overall (74.2%), including a 57-22 conference mark (72.2%). Drinkwitz also serves as the program’s offensive coordinator. ^ The 2019 season saw Drinkwitz turn in one of the most impressive FBS head coaching debut seasons ever. His Mountaineers set a Sun Belt record with their 12 wins, and also set the mark for the best regular season in conference history (11-1). They claimed the Sun Belt championship with a 45-38 win against Louisiana on Dec. 7. ^ Prior to App State, Drinkwitz spent three years as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for record-setting North Carolina State teams (2016-18), after excelling in a similar role at Boise State for two years (2014-15), where the Broncos won the 2014 Mountain West title and finished 12-2 and ranked 16th nationally. In 2015, Drinkwitz was promoted to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, and he helped the Bronco offense rank in the Top 15 nationally in points (39.1) and yards (501.3) per game. ^ In his five seasons as an offensive coordinator, Drinkwitz has produced five 1,000-yard rushers, four 3,000-yard passers and four 1,000-yard receivers. Three of those years (2015, 2017, 2018) his offenses produced at least one in each category. Drinkwitz’s Coaching Awards • 2019 Eddie Robinson Award Finalist • 2019 North Carolina Coach of the Year (North State Journal) • 2018 Broyles Award Nominee ANYTHING BUT NORMAL FOR COACH DRINKWITZ SINCE TAKING OVER ^ Taking over a program can present a variety of challenges for any first-year head coach, but doing so during a global pandemic poses even more obstacles. That’s what Coach Drinkwitz and his staff have been forced to navigate during a difficult year 2020 for our nation. ^ Mizzou’s spring training period was upended after just two official practices, and Coach Drinkwitz wasn’t able to get a full team practice again until midway through August. Things have been unconventional at best during his first year at the helm, as his media opportunities have featured more questions about COVID-19, contact tracing and social justice issues than football. He’s handled it well, winning over his locker room thanks to his passion for his players, pride for his job and purpose in getting his team ready to play this Saturday. MIZZOU IN SEASON-, HOME-OPENERS ^ In its previous 129 season-openers, Mizzou has won more than two-thirds of them, going 83-41-5 all-time (66.3%). Mizzou has won 20 of its last 23 season-openers, but dropped its 2019 season-opener at Wyoming, 37-31. ^ In home-openers, Mizzou’s all-time record is 94-31-4 (74.4%), and that includes an active win streak of 14, and wins in 21 of its last 23 such games. Mizzou’s last loss in a home-opener was a 45-35 setback to New Mexico in 2005. Saturday’s game will mark the second time in as many years that the Tigers will open their home slate against a Power 5 opponent. ^ Last year, Mizzou thumped West Virginia, 38-7, on Faurot Field. That was part of an eventual five-game home win streak to open the season. Before doing so in each of the last two seasons, the last time Mizzou played a Power 5 opponent in its home opener was in 1993, when it drubbed Illinois, 31-3.