By Andrew Edwards
Before the season, everyone had this game pinned on their calendar as a potential hiccup spot for the Alabama Crimson Tide. As we approach the 2:30 kickoff tomorrow from Kyle Field, the drama doesn’t seem to be nearly as high.
No. 1 Alabama (5-0) will travel to the state of Texas to take on the No 24 Texas A&M Aggies (3-2). Led by quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, the Tide looks to continues its’ deadly passing attack against a A&M defense that allows only 17.8 points and 299 yards per game. This is well below the Alabama offensive points and yardage per game, which is 51.8 and 554.6 respectively.
Key Matchup: The Alabama Defense vs the A&M Offense
This has not been a prototypical Nick Saban defense that we have seen so far this year. A lot of the issues do pertain to injures and a slew of true freshman defenders, but ultimately this had led to the Tide giving up 14.8 points per game. In their last outing against Ole Miss, Alabama gave up 279 yards on the ground – their most since the 2015 Sugar Bowl loss to Ohio State.
If the Aggies want any shot to unseat the tide, then they are going to have to score a good deal of points. It’s nearly impossible to stop the tide’s passing game, so A&M QB Kellen Mond will have to get step up to plate and take advantage of a depleted tide defense.
Player to Watch: ALA WR Devonta Smith
There’s not much else to say about Smith’s last game except, wow. The Bama wideout caught 11 passes for 274 yards and five touchdowns against Ole Miss, breaking Crimson Tide single game records in the process. Look to see if he can continue his success against A&M.
Texas A&M’s head coach Jimbo Fisher knows that this is probably his teams last stand for a truly successful season. The loss at Clemson was excusable, but the Aggies were certainly hoping they could have taken care of Auburn at home – a game they lost 28-20. Look to see if the Aggies try to design some exotic defense schemes tomorrow, as they currently are close to last in the conference in QB pressures and sacks.
The game will kick off at 2:30 tomorrow on CBS.