By Tommy Deas
The Aggies are known for their offense, and are averaging nearly 450 yards and more than 37 points per game. Those are impressive numbers, but Texas A&M is second in the SEC in both categories to Alabama, which has been scoring like a basketball team.
The Crimson Tide is giving up just 8.6 points per game, while A&M is allowing nearly 20 points more. Statistically, Alabama seems a bit more vulnerable to a strong passing attack, but Levi Wallace has three of UA’s eight interceptions and going against this secondary is no bargain.
Advantage: Texas A&M
Texas A&M gets the nod here because of Christian Kirk, who might be the most dangerous return man in the country. Kicker Daniel LaCamera has also been solid for the Aggies. UA punter JK Scott has pinned opponents inside the 20-yard line on 10 of his 15 boots.
Alabama’s offense is coming around under first-year coordinator Brian Daboll as the Crimson Tide has run with power and still produced explosive plays. Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin seems to always be on the hot seat, but he’s beaten Alabama before.
Advantage: Texas A&M
There may not be a less friendly and more intimidating venue in the SEC than Kyle Field, where the Aggies like to parade military vehicles before they kick off football games. A&M has nothing to lose, and Alabama has played so well it may feel invulnerable.
Alabama 31, Texas A&M 14
This Alabama team is cruising along, and Texas A&M might have a chance if it can get the Crimson Tide into a shootout. UA’s defense, however, is too tough and stubborn to let that happen, and the Aggies won’t be able to keep Alabama’s offense in check.
Alabama 48, Texas A&M 9
Another big win for Alabama means another lopsided pick for me this week. If you haven’t seen the “It” parody trailer by the folks at goodbullhunting.com that’s been circulating with Nick Saban as Pennywise, check it out. I’d have to say the horrors that await the Aggies on the field will be just as terrifying, if not more.
Alabama 48, Texas A&M 14
The last time a conference opponent scored a touchdown on Alabama’s defense was the first half of the 2016 SEC Championship Game against Florida. That’s 150 minutes of game time for those counting. I think that streak ends in College Station, but the Crimson Tide should have no trouble dismissing the Aggies. If Texas A&M wants to keep the game close the defense will need to get off the field on third down. Texas A&M has held opponents to just 20 conversions on 69 third-down attempts, which ranks 23rd in the country.
Alabama 41, Texas A&M 23
Not all Alabama-Texas A&M games end up 41-23 (especially the ones that end up 59-0) but it seems like they do. Alabama can score when it wants to. Texas A&M can make plays but then it messes up some plays. Just about all of them — noting the ugly 59-point exception — are pretty entertaining so this one should be the same.
Alabama 40, Texas A&M 21
The gap closes this week from the last two games, but Alabama still wins comfortably. The Aggies can hang around as long as its running game is productive. When that falls off, Kellen Mond won’t be able to keep pace in the passing game. There aren’t enough big plays there.
Alabama 45, Texas A&M 10
After two dominating wins, the biggest obstacle for the Crimson Tide to avoid is complacency. If all three phases continue to operate at a high level, the Aggies will be the next SEC victim.
Alabama 42, Texas A&M 21
It’s been fun watching the Crimson Tide offense, under the direction of Brian Daboll, score at will on SEC teams. Will that continue today? I think so. The defense’s SEC scoreless streak, however, will end. College Station is a tough place for visiting teams, and that Aggie offense is pretty dang good.
Alabama 42, Texas A&M 17
How much longer can Alabama continue to lay waste to opponents and betting lines? A road game is a good test to find out.
Alabama 45, Texas A&M 17
Last weekend was a statement. Alabama is good. Even backups were able to put up points. Texas A&M shouldn’t be an issue, but the Aggies aren’t just going to roll over. Remember: Christian Kirk is the last SEC player to score a touchdown against UA during the regular season.
Alabama 50, Texas A&M 21
It’s been said Texas A&M has the second-best offense in the SEC behind Alabama. The Aggies have an impressive running game thanks to running backs Trayveon Williams and Keith Ford.