College football is back, and the opening weekend of the 2016 NCAA season already features a matchup for the ages as Number 20 USC tangles with defending national champions Alabama, the consensus preseason Number One team in the nation, in a game that will stream live pitting two of the most storied programs in the college game against each other at 80,000-seat AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
USC, with 11 national championships, and Alabama — with either 12 or 16 depending on how championships are counted — have faced each other only seven times, but not since 1985 when the two legendary football schools clashed in Honolulu, Hawaii, in the Aloha Bowl.
That game was actually a low point of the Alabama vs. USC rivalry — a rivalry that the two teams hope to resume with its original intensity on Saturday night, with Alabama leading the all-time series 5-2.
— Ryan Abraham (@insidetroy) September 1, 2016
The matchup also features debut starting outings by quarterbacks for both teams. For USC, Coach Clay Helton sends six-foot-five-inch, 220 pound junior Max Browne to set up behind center, replacing Cody Kessler who was drafted in the third round by the NFL’s Cleveland Browns this year.
Browne has considerable shoes to fill, following a long line of USC quarterbacks who have not only starred in college but gone on to often successful careers in the NFL, including Carson Palmer of the Arizona Cardinals, Oakland Raiders backup Matt Leinart, and even the school’s current athletic director Pat Haden, who starred in the 1970s for the Los Angeles Rams.
Watch a preview of the 2016 USC vs. Alabama opening week matchup from Fox Sports host Colin Cowherd and sports talk radio personality Joel Klatt in the video below.
To find out how to watch a live stream of the Number 20 USC vs. Number One Alabama NCAA college football opener, see the streaming links on the final paragraph of this article. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. Central Daylight Time at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas — 8:07 p.m. Eastern Time, 5:07 Pacific — on Saturday, September 3.
On the Alabama side of the ball, Coach Nick Saban has not yet announced which of his two quarterbacks will get the nod to start the Crimson Tide’s defense of its national title. Redshirt junior Cooper Bateman and redshirt freshman Blake Barnett have been battling it out to win Saban’s favor, but when the five-time national championship winning coach will make up his mind is anyone’s guess.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) August 31, 2016
But Alabama’s bread and butter has always lain with the running game, and the 2016 edition of the Crimson Tide looks to be no exception, as offensive coordinator — and controversial former USC head coach — Lane Kiffin is expected to divide duties between sophomore ball carriers Bo Scarbrough and Damien Harris as he tries to figure out how to fill the hole left by Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry, who went to the Tennessee Titans in the second round of the NFL draft, with the 45th pick overall.
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To watch the Number 20 USC vs. Number One Alabama NCAA college football opening weekend showdown live online for free from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas — without login credential from a cable provider required — go to ESPN3, the online-only channel in the ESPN network. ESPN3 will carry the game live at this link. ESPN3 is free to subscribers of most major internet service providers and many minor ISPs, as well. For a full list, check this link. The WatchESPN and ESPN apps will allow fans to catch the live stream of USC vs. Alabama on mobile devices, as well. For a possible alternative live stream, fans can click on this link. A live radio stream will also be available via ESPN Radio at this link.
[Photo By Donald Miralle/Getty Images]