The reason Texas A&M vs. Alabama will be a better game than most people think
Alabama looked dominant in their 38-19 win over Missouri last weekend, but everyone expected dominance against a weak Missouri team with a first-year head coach. On the flip side of that, Texas A&M looked worse than they have in years.
If you didn’t see the headlines, Texas A&M narrowly defeated Vanderbilt 17-12 on Saturday. That is right, the same Vandy you are thinking of.
However, this game will be much more entertaining, and much closer than the majority of people are expecting. To be clear, this is not predicting an Aggie win, or even a nail-biter, but A&M will play much better versus the Crimson Tide.
Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher has been planning for this game since the start of fall camp over a month ago. Since the seat is getting a little warm in College Station, Fisher knows he needs a big win under his belt.
The Aggies did not unleash the full playbook against one of the worst teams in the SEC. No, they were saving up for Saban’s squad. Look out for a wide variety of plays and formations that you didn’t see out of A&M from week 1 of the season.
The biggest threat to Alabama is Kellen Mond, Texas A&M’s senior quarterback who knows Fisher’s system backwards and forwards. Mond is an extremely versatile player who can beat you on his feet or with his arm.
Mond’s game against the Commodores on Saturday was slightly above average. He completed 60% of his passes including a touchdown with zero interceptions. However, the overall production didn’t translate to many points. He should step things up against the Tide and have a big night on the ground and through the air.
On the other hand, Alabama seems to be the same well-oiled machine that we are used to seeing out of Tuscaloosa year in and year out. The only question mark is still the defense because of the slight struggle they had in 2019. They looked great versus Missouri, but they have not faced a real threat in 2020.
That will all change Saturday. Alabama has struggled with mobile quarterbacks in the past, which is another reason this game will be closer than expected.
Alabama quarterback Mac Jones and his plethora of great receivers such as Devonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle will gash a subpar Texas A&M defense. Waddle put up 134 yards and two touchdowns alone against Missouri last week. That combined with what could be another close to 100-yard rushing game for Najee Harris should ultimately push Bama to a double-digit victory.
Texas A&M is going to give the Tide their absolute best, and they have been hearing all week how embarrassing their game against the Commodores was. They know the only way to silence the skepticism is to come out and beat the No. 2 team in the nation. A&M will come out hot and on a mission to prove the doubters wrong.
The 13th ranked Aggies will travel to Tuscaloosa on Saturday to take on the 2nd ranked Crimson Tide. The game will be close through the half, but Alabama should have the strength to pull away by mid-third quarter.
Hayden Crigler is a graduate of Auburn University and writes about college sports for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him through email: email@example.com or on Twitter: @hayden_crigler