The Texas A&M Aggies are the lucky team that gets to face the no. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide this week. Nick Saban’s team has a chance to win its 20th straight game on Saturday, with the Tide being undefeated since the end of the 2019 season. Even on the road, the Crimson Tide is favored by 18 points, with the over/under set at 51 points.
Even after five games, the Aggies have already fallen short of preseason expectations and fallen out of the top-25. Texas A&M won three in a row to begin the season before falling in back-to-back weeks to Arkansas and Mississippi State. Things will get even more difficult for Jimbo Fisher’s team moving forward with three more ranked teams left on Texas A&M’s schedule.
Meanwhile, it’s been business as usual for Saban’s team. In fairness, the Crimson Tide survived a scare against Florida a few weeks ago, winning 31-29 in The Swamp. But the Crimson Tide won and covered the spread in a 42-21 win over Ole Miss last week that wasn’t as close as the final score indicates.
Young and Ready
The Alabama offense has had no problem rolling this year with Bryce Young at the helm. While there were some hiccups in the Florida game, Young has been otherwise impressive, completing 73% of his passes with 17 touchdowns and just two interceptions. He has more than enough capable receivers, with running back Brian Robinson taking a lot of pressure off the young quarterback.
Meanwhile, the Alabama defense has been as good as advertised this season. Most of the touchdowns they’ve conceded this year have come in garbage time once the outcome of the game had been decided. At times, the Crimson Tide has looked a little vulnerable against the run, although that issue is often mitigated with Alabama usually playing with a lead.
Hot and Cold
As some projected, the Texas A&M offense has struggled this season, averaging just 14 points per game in the team’s three games against power-conference opponents. For what it’s worth, starting quarterback Haynes King has been injured, with backup Zach Calzada struggling to find consistency. With King unlikely to return this week, the Aggies will be reliant on running backs Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane carrying the load.
On the bright side, there can’t be too many complaints about the Texas A&M defense this season. The Aggies are loaded on that side of the ball, giving up just 12.6 points per game. Oddly enough, they have only forced four turnovers in five games and none in their two SEC games, which is a trend that will have to change if the Aggies expect to beat Alabama.
Same Old Story
At home, the Texas A&M defense might be able to keep the Alabama offense contained for a little while and keep this game close. But the Aggies are unlikely to find much success offensively, nor will their defense be able to keep the Tide under wraps for four quarters. Look for Alabama to pull away in the second half and cover the spread.
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