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In Battle Of Bama, Ravens RB Eye Mark Ingram


Ravens outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw and Saints breakout running back Mark Ingram were roommates during Upshaw's freshman year at Alabama.

"He used to come take all my snacks out of my room," Upshaw said with a chuckle.

Now Upshaw is looking to repay the "favor."

The 2010 Heisman Trophy winner and former first-round pick is having a breakout season as the Saints' starting running back after three subpar years to begin his career.

He's already set a career-high in rushing yards (618) despite missing four weeks with a hand injury. He had a streak of three-straight 100-yard games in which he averaged 131 yards and a touchdown per contest.

"We'll always be brothers, teammates and friends, but at the end of the day we want to get that win for our team," Upshaw said. "If I get my shot, I'm going to take it. If he gets a shot to hit me, I'm pretty sure he'll take it."

Upshaw does not discriminate when it comes to hitting. And he isn't the only Alabama player looking to stop Ingram.

Nose tackle Terrence Cody also knows Ingram well (he's been texting him this week looking for tickets in the Superdome), and inside linebacker C.J. Mosley played with Ingram for one year when Mosley was a freshman.

"I've hit a few Alabama guys already this year," Mosley said. "It will be a little different with a former Heisman trophy winner though."

The Ravens need to bottle up Ingram to have success. It's what the Bengals did a week earlier, which put pressure on quarterback Drew Brees to convert in third-and-long situations. Cincinnati held Ingram to just 67 yards on 23 carries.

It won't be easy, however.

Mosley said Ingram is one of the tougher backs to stop once he gets to the second level. He's a handful at 215 pounds despite his 5-foot-9 stature. The key will be for the defensive linemen to stay square and make Ingram hesitate even just a little in the backfield.

The Ravens haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher in 20-straight games, tied for the NFL's longest active streak with the Arizona Cardinals. The last running back to top the century mark against Baltimore was Green Bay's Eddie Lacy – another Alabama alum.

"Congrats to [Ingram] and I hope for the best for him in the future," said Cody, who is hoping to be active on gameday for the first time this season. "But me, Mosley and Upshaw are coming down there to do business."

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