Alabama vs Texas A&M preview

Top ranked Alabama (5-0) travels to College Station this Saturday to take on unranked Texas A&M (3-2). Alabama has currently won 100 consecutive games against unranked opponents. Alabama leads the all time series against Texas A&M 11-2. Currently Alabama has won eight straight against the Aggies with A&M’s last win coming at Tuscaloosa in 2012 with Johnny Manziel creating some magic. Alabama won last year’s meeting 52-24. Don’t look for a combined point total of 76 points this year.

Before the season kicked off, many pointed to this game as being the SEC game of the year that would decide the SEC West and a shot at a national title. Texas A&M barely missed the playoffs last year finishing 5th, one spot outside of the playoffs. Pollsters felt Alabama would just reload and voted Bama #1 to start the season even after losing an unheard of five offensive players in the first round of the NFL draft. Texas A&M started the season ranked #7 with a nine starters returning on defense but some question marks on offense after losing quarterback Kellen Mond to the NFL draft and only returning one starter on the offensive line. Even with question marks on the offensive side of the ball A&M was expected to come into this game at 5-0 as they looked to be heavy favorites in their first five games making this a battle of undefeated teams in the middle of the season.

Alabama comes into this SEC West contest on a roll after dismantling the Ole Miss Rebels last week 42-21. The Ole Miss style of offense had given Alabama defense a lot of problems in the past but Bama was very prepared having plenty of game tape to study this time around. The Tide finally got the running game rolling against the 3-3-5 Ole Miss defense taking what the Rebel defense would give them. But the most impressive stat last week was holding Ole Miss scoreless at halftime.

Texas A&M limps into this contest losing their last two games. The Aggies lost to Arkansas 20-10 two weeks ago and followed that up with a disappointing 26-22 loss to Mississippi State last week. The defense has played well enough to win but the inept offense can’t consistently put together drives and is lucky they don’t have three losses. The A&M offense only scored 10 points in a 10-7 week two win against Colorado.

Alabama suffered a couple of key injuries last week losing backup running back Jase McClellan for the season with a knee injury. Roydell Williams will likely move into the backup role with Trey Sanders up next in the backfield rotation. Bama also lost starting linebacker Drew Sanders for the Texas A&M game with an injury to his hand. Next in line to replace Drew Sanders is likely Sophomore linebacker Chris Braswell. Chris was rated as a 5 star linebacker by 247 Sports and the #2 defensive end in the nation. Five star freshman Dallas Turner may also get into the rotation.

Texas A&M lost three players for the season due to injuries this past week. The Aggies lost starting center Luke Matthews and defensive backs Brian George and Myles Jones. This is a bad time to lose depth at defensive back when facing Bryce Young and the explosive Alabama offense. On the offensive side A&M lost starting quarterback Haynes King early in the season and will now have to deal with a backup quarterback paired with a backup center. Tough hill for the Aggies to climb this week.

These two teams are currently headed in the opposite direction. Alabama played their best game of the year for 3 quarters against Ole Miss racing out to a 42-7 lead before allowing the Rebs to make the score much more respectable with a couple of late touchdowns.
Meanwhile, Texas A&M has lost two in a row and losing three key contributors last week to injuries does not help the situation. Last week the Bama defense showed it can slow down a high powered fast tempo offense with a Heisman contender at quarterback. Now the Bama defense faces a much slower paced offensive team with a poor offensive line and a backup quarterback. Unless Jimbo Fisher has some magical plays in his encyclopedia playbook it looks to be a long day for the College Station Canines. The Pachyderm offense continues to stampede while the defense whips up on the Military Pups offense. Final, Alabama 38 Texas A&M 10

Written by Randy Belk
Twitter @RandyBelk1

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