By CBSMiami.com Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Defending national champion Alabama and No. 14 Miami open their seasons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

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Alabama is seeking a 20th consecutive season-opening win. It has not been even a game under .500 since the end of the 2006 season, when the Tide finished 6-7. Nick Saban took over as coach the following season. For Miami, the game represents a chance for arguably the program’s biggest win in 20 years.

KEY MATCHUP

Alabama’s defense against a Miami offense led by QB D’Eriq King and a veteran offensive line with a collective 159 career starts. The Hurricanes returned 10 offensive starters. The Crimson Tide is led defensively by preseason All-American Will Anderson Jr. and fellow linebackers Christian Harris and Henry To’oTo’o, a Tennessee transfer. Alabama had 21 sacks in the final five games last season.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

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Miami: King enters the season with 9,570 career combined passing and rushing yards. Among active FBS quarterbacks with at least 1,000 rushing yards, only Utah transfer Charlie Brewer — who had 10,739 over the past four seasons at Baylor — has piled up more than King.

Alabama: QB Bryce Young, the top-rated dual threat quarterback out of high school, makes his much-anticipated starting debut. If the offense skips a beat, it won’t necessarily be because of his inexperience. Young is surrounded by new starters on an offense, though tailback Brian Robinson Jr. and receiver John Metchie III are established threats.

FACTS & FIGURES

Alabama is seeking a 99th win as the No. 1-ranked team in the AP poll. … Miami is 5-11 all-time when facing the AP national champion from the previous season, 0-2 when that opponent is Alabama (losing those games by a combined score of 66-3). … Saban is 79-8 in games where the Crimson Tide enter ranked No. 1 in the AP poll. … The Hurricanes are 9-9 all-time when facing the AP’s No. 1-ranked team. … Miami will play nine of its 12 regular-season games in NFL stadiums, including seven home contests. … Alabama has 15 first- or second-year players on its offensive two-deep, including three offensive linemen and all four freshman wide receivers.

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CBSMiami.com Team