The Aggies with 2 conference losses travel to Tuscaloosa for a prime time matchup against the mighty Crimson Tide. CBS picked it up as the game of the week and the whole nation watches anticipating a blowout win for Saban’s ruthless defense.
Johnny Manziel sits in the locker room mentally preparing himself to win. This is what he’s trained for. This is his moment. This is his time.
Now two years later, the Aggies travel to Tuscaloosa for another prime time matchup on CBS. The Bama defense has proved stifling as usual. This Aggie team has shown glimpses of greatness but has also struggled in two losses. Like that 2012 team, they are not quite sure what they have. The nation watches in anticipation to see just what kind of teams Saban and Sumlin have this year.
The Aggies kick off against Alabama at 2:30PM C.T. in Bryant-Denny Stadium. The game will be televised on CBS.
Offensively, the biggest storyline was the offseason hire of Lane Kiffin. The controversial coach stepped in as offensive coordinator to revamp a stale Alabama offense. So far, the results have been a mixed bag with Bama struggling to find an identity. Blake Sims leads the offense replacing senior-departed AJ McCarron. Through light competition, Sims threw for 8 touchdowns and completed 71%. Over the past two games and against SEC West competition, Sims has thrown 0 touchdowns, 1 interception, and is just completing 59% of passes. Without an offensive identity, the Tide could struggle against a rapidly improving A&M defense.
On the defensive side, Bama once again has one of the top units in the nation. They are just allowing 277 yards per game and 15.3 yards per game. If there is one area of weakness, it lies in the secondary. The young defensive backs have gave up 365 passing yards to West Virginia as well as 251 to Ole Miss. Given that Jake Spavital and WVU head coach Dana Holgerson talk every week, expect the Aggies to try and replicate the Mountaineers success.
Texas A&M Preview:
The Aggies struggled mightily against Ole Miss last week. They clearly wanted to establish a run game in the beginning, but they were only gaining 1.5 yards per carry. They soon found themselves down by 3 touchdowns and having to play catch up. At this week’s presser, the coaching staff emphasized a need to become more creative in establishing game plans around certain key players. With the rise in production from Speedy Noil these past few weeks, they could be planning to utilize the dynamic freshman in a similar way that West Virginia used to utilize Tavon Austin.
Defensively, the Aggies need to do one thing and one thing only. Cover, double cover, and triple cover Amari Cooper. The Biletnikoff frontrunner and Heisman dark horse already has an incredible 768 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns. The Aggie defense CANNOT let this guy get behind them ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER. Limit Megatron 2.0 and keep the defensive line fresh, and this Aggie defense has a real shot at keeping Alabama under 3 touchdowns.
For those traveling to the game, the heart of Alabama prides itself in their infamous establishment “Rama Jama’s”. However, a few blocks west you will find the best barbecue Tuscaloosa has to offer. Pay a visit to Moe’s Original BBQ. The locals rave about the pulled pork sandwich and smoked chicken.
If you’re going to be in Tuscaloosa, you won’t find a more fitting place to pregame than The Houndstooth. Named the #1 College Sports Bar by Sports Illustrated, the Houndstooth’s namesake is of the great Bear Bryant’s houndstooth patterned hats that he wore. And seeing how both A&M and Bama fans share a history with the Bear, they can now share a beer together. The bar has several beers on tap, but be sure to try the pale ale, Druid City.
Nobody in the nation expected this matchup to include 2 teams with a combined 3 losses to the Mississippi schools. Both teams are angry, hungry, and out to prove something. This Aggie team desperately needs a spark. They desperately need a leader. They desperately need Malcome Kennedy. The sorely missed senior receiver finally returns to the lineup after being sidelined from a shoulder injury. He arrived on the scene two years ago with his fourth quarter touchdown reception against, you guessed it, Alabama. He returns just in time to lead the Aggies to another upset win over Bama. Ags win 29-24.