Countdown to Kickoff
Football Welcomes Colorado State for 2013 Home Opener

Sept. 16, 2013

THE GAME: The University of Alabama football team makes its 2013 home debut Saturday when it welcomes former Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Jim McElwain and his Colorado State Rams to Bryant-Denny Stadium. The game marks the first meeting between the Crimson Tide and the Rams and will be nationally on ESPN2 with kickoff set for 6 p.m. (CDT). Joe Tessitore will serve as the play-by-play announcer, with Matt Millen at his side as the color analyst. The two will be joined by sideline reporter Maria Taylor. Eli Gold and Phil Savage will handle the radio call on the Crimson Tide Sports Network, with Chris Stewart serving as sideline reporter.

MAKING HISTORY: Alabama has laid claim to three of the last four BCS National Championships and now boasts 15 national championships in the program's history. The Tide won in 2009 and then went back-to-back in 2011 and 2012. The back-to-back titles are the first in the BCS era and the first since Nebraska went back to back in 1994-95. The Cornhuskers are also the last team to win three out of four national titles. Nebraska won consensus titles in 1994 and 1995 and shared the 1997 championship with Michigan. The last team to win three of four consensus national championships was Notre Dame who captured the 1946, 1947 and 1949 titles. Minnesota is the last team to win three straight national championships (1934-36) with only the 1936 title coming in the era of the Associated Press college football poll. The Crimson Tide won three titles in five years from 1961 to 1965.

RANKINGS: Alabama enters week four of the 2013 season ranked first in the Associated Press and USA TODAY Coaches polls, while Colorado State is unranked.

COLORADO STATE: Colorado State is led by former Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Jim McElwain and enters Saturday's contest fresh off of a win in its home opener against Cal Poly, 34-17. The Rams are 1-2 on the season after dropping their season opener 41-27 in Denver against Colorado and then falling 30-27 at Tulsa on Sept. 7. CSU is 85th nationally in scoring defense (29.3 ppg) and 93rd in total defense (434.3 ypg) while ranking 67th (29.3 ppg) in scoring offense and 85th in total offense (367.7 ypg). Garrett Grayson quarterbacks the Rams offense and is averaging 202 passing yards per game while Chris Nwoke leads the team in rushing with 236 yards and one touchdown.

SERIES HISTORY: Saturday's game marks the first meeting on the gridiron for Alabama and Colorado State. It marks just the fourth game in Crimson Tide history against a team from the state of Colorado.

NEXT GAME: Alabama welcomes Ole Miss to Bryant-Denny Stadium for the first SEC home game of the 2013 season Saturday, Sept. 28. The Crimson Tide enters the game with a 47-9-2 edge in the series with the Rebels, having won nine straight.