(6) Texas A&M Aggies at (1) Alabama Crimson Tide
A&M– I think we can all agree when I say that they’ve been the biggest surprise this year in the SEC. Whoever thought they would be sitting at 6-0 and ranked sixth in the nation heading into week 8? Kevin Sumlin entered the year on the hot seat and there was much uncertainty on the offensive side of the ball. Now, they’ve been considered as the only team to give Alabama a run for their money in the SEC West and Sumlin is in the running for SEC coach of the year. New offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone has this offense playing with confidence and Trevor Knight has also given them a spark on that side of the ball and on defense, John Chavis continues to develop and turn them into one of the best defensive units in the conference. It’s crazy to think this team began the season unranked and upset a pretty good UCLA team along with beating Arkansas and Tennessee. If they really want people to talk about them more this year, getting a win in Tuscaloosa will do just that.
Bama– I’ve seen a lot of Alabama Crimson Tide football over the years and this maybe the best I’ve ever seen them look and both sides of the football truly complement one another. The defense is still one of, if not the best in the nation and the offense is handling business of its own as they are ranked first in the SEC in the offensive ranks averaging seven yards per play. What’s even scarier of a thought is the offense will get better as Jalen Hurts continues to gain more experience. They may not have a Heisman trophy candidate at running back as they have in previous years, but they still continue to run the football as consistently as they always have. They destroyed Tennessee on the ground last week running the ball for over 400 yards on the ground. Today, they’ll welcome a much improved Texas A&M team to town.
Texas A&M player(s) to watch: The passing attack: Alabama hardly has weaknesses. They’re ranked first in stopping the run, they’re ranked first in the SEC with 27 sacks. However, the secondary isn’t as stacked as it’s been in years past and quarterbacks with mobility have given Nick Saban some problems. The Aggies need to come out firing on all cylinders and allow time to let Trevor Knight time to move the pocket and get the ball down the field through the air.
Alabama Player To Watch: Jalen Hurts– There’s a strong possibility that A&M can contain the ground game and for the champs to beat them by throwing it. Hurts has been one of the best quarterbacks in the SEC this year, but he’s also been very streaky as a passer at times. A&M will be the best defense Jalen has seen all year and he has to be on his a game today.
Prediction: Both teams have defeated some good teams on their schedules this year. It’s clearly obvious that Alabama is just in a class of their own. There were many that thought Tennessee would give them a challenge and look how that ended. I do see Texas A&M giving them more of a battle in this game but in the end, Alabama will prevail. I’m rolling with the Tide. Alabama 31 Texas A&M 23