Game of the week: Texas A&M vs. Alabama
Saturday’s Texas A&M-Alabama matchup is arguably the biggest NCAA game this week. Both teams are undefeated. They’re conference rivals. Top 25 teams. Texas A&M is intent on upsetting the Crimson Tide, and a win for Alabama could make them one of the great NCAA teams in modern times.
Why Alabama will win
It’s been four years since Texas A&M beat Alabama. Since then they’ve lost 49-42, 59-0, and 41-23 – those last two were pretty embarrassing losses for the Aggies, frankly.
The Crimson Tide have the clear edge in defense. They’ve scored 11 non-offensive touchdowns this season, many coming from the defense. They’ve also missed only 27 tackles all season; Texas A&M missed 31 against Tennessee alone.
Why Texas A&M will win
Two words: Trevor Knight. Texas A&M’s quarterback is going into Saturday’s game with the knowledge that he’s been there, done that before. Playing for Oklahoma, Knight beat the Crimson Tide in the 2014 Sugar Bowl, 45-31. Obviously, this is a different game and a different team, but with the Aggies, Knight has led a No. 2-ranked rushing attack in yards per carry; last year they ranked 70th in the country. His running ability is simply amazing. He’s doing a great job of carving out his legacy at Texas A&M.
Beyond just Trevor Knight, the Aggies are bringing a top-10 offense averaging 532.8 yards to the matchup against Alabama’s top-ranked rush defense. Texas A&M’s rushing attack averages 274.3 yards while the passing side is averaging 258.5 per game. They’ve also forced 17 turnovers, second nationally.
The Crimson Tide are heavy favorites to win; based on past performances, I agree. This game will be Alabama’s, but the Aggies aren’t going to sully their perfect season performance without putting up a fight.