OT: Alabama will beat Texas A&M by two touchdowns or more. Anyone disagree?

Submitted by wolverine1987 on September 13th, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Despite playing at home I really can't see A&M winning this game. I think Johnny snuck up on Bama last year, and in fact he did most of his damage in the 1st quarter, with Bama giving up very few opportunities the second half.  Additionaly, A&M lost Luke Joeckel at LT. I, like most human beings, am not a Nick Saban fan, but he is a damn good defensive coach, and if there is one person that can gameplan and defeat Manziel with scheme (plus Bama's talent) it is him. I see that Vegas has Alabama as 8 pt favorites on the road, and I think that's conservative. 31-14 Alabama. 

Comments

EGD

September 13th, 2013 at 5:27 PM ^

I think Alabama will destroy A&M and that it will be over by halftime.  To me, the most interesting matchup this weekend is Nebraska-UCLA.  

Zone Left

September 13th, 2013 at 6:30 PM ^

A&M lost a lot on defense. The concern is that they had problems stopping Rice and Sam Houston State. They let up 31 and 28 points respectively to them.

A&M will score on Alabama, but they gave up 306 rushing yards to Rice, 509 total yards, and were outgained on the day. Sam Houston is a 1AA team, and they rolled up 396 yards on offense. I know Alabama had a crappy day on offense against Virginia Tech, but they're track record is good enough to write that off as a bad day--especially since they scored two special teams touchdowns, which means they had two fewer drives.

Alabama under Saban just doesn't lose rematches against teams they've lost to the year before.

MIMark

September 13th, 2013 at 5:33 PM ^

Agree 100%.  Bama's O line was surprisingly not good against VT, but they've had two weeks of practice and yelling from Saban to improve.  They've got the best playmakers.  And of course, they're pissed off.  Sucks to be A&M and Manziel.

charblue.

September 13th, 2013 at 5:35 PM ^

What has Manziel done that prevents you from thinking that play-execution doesn't beat scheme? If you succeed at running your plays, and you extend plays that don't immediately work, then you have a greater chance of succeeding then teams who have system players, like AJ McCarron and high quality players on offense and defense. 

The point is, college football is about emotion and execution. And the bettors here are thinking that because Alabama is what it is, and Texas A&M is one guy, that the Crimson Tide figures it out and rolls him over. And maybe they do, since this is a circled contest. 

But Alabama to me is a hybrid of MSU and what it can only wish it was. Lloyd Carr chased Saban out of Michigan, and now he is a legend. 

I'll take a play-making quarterback over a system quarterback in games where the difference is making a play, and its not about great offense and defense. If a freshman could beat Alabama on the road, why can't he do it at home with a team that already has experienced the thrill of victory? 

Because Alabama needs to be taken down, I am going with the Aggies, regardless of how folks feel about Manziel. And his performance will easily trump Devin's if his team wins. 

 

wolverine1987

September 13th, 2013 at 5:51 PM ^

-Saban is a better coach than Sumlin

- Bama has more overall talent

-I think the emotional edge (unlike you) favors Alabama given the loss last year

-I think Bama's defense is better than the Aggies offense, and A&M's defense is poor

-I think A&M is over-rated (I agree that the Bama rep might be overvblown too)

Concerns that go against my prediction are the Bama o-line, as mentioned above, which has three new starters with only one game's experience, and yes, Manziel.

stephenrjking

September 13th, 2013 at 11:54 PM ^

Yeah. Saban left because MSU wouldn't step up to the plate and act like a big-time program that could actually win the B1G. LSU did.

And that is the difference between the two conferences for the past ten years in a nutshell: the SEC's midrange programs (and that is exactly what LSU was before Saban arrived) were willing to do whatever it took to win. The B1G midrange teams were not.

Perkis-Size Me

September 13th, 2013 at 5:35 PM ^

I do not think it'll be a blowout, but no one can sit there and tell me that Saban hasn't been game planning for this for the past 9 months. Alabama says this is not about revenge? Yeah, I call BS on that.

Give Saban time to prepare, and I would not bet against him in any universe. I think Manziel might come out hot for the first quarter or so, but Bama's defense will start to shut him down by the second half. And while I know Bama's O-Line is slightly suspect, this is arguably the best offense, on paper, that Saban has had since he came to Tuscaloosa. With a shaky A&M defense, I'd expect McCarron, Yeldon, and Cooper to light them up.

That's not to say that A&M can't win tomorrow, but Saban typically does not lose these kinds of games. 35-24, Bama.

The Dutchess

September 13th, 2013 at 5:36 PM ^

Bama couldn't pull away from a weak VT team, and needed a few ST TDs to make it not that close.  A&M has some huge receivers, and still pretty good lines.  I took A&M and the points and I'm pretty confident in it.  

Farnn

September 13th, 2013 at 5:40 PM ^

I was originally thinking Bama blowout but then started thinking about the Bama OL and offensive struggles against VT.  I could definitely see all the success going to Manziel's head and causing him to get over confident while Alabama takes advantage of that to shut him down.  But winning by 2 scores may be tough.

snoopblue

September 13th, 2013 at 5:39 PM ^

I like Sumlin's ability to mask weaknesses on offense by moving the pocket (and great WR blocking downfield, which we are so used to) and DC Snyder's ability to build a solid gameplan. I imagine Alabama will get their yards on the ground, but they'll really challenge McCarron to throw it in tight windows. Alabama has been less than impressive (well, for ALABAMA standards), especially at OL, and Kyle Field is going to be rocking. The bye week before is great, but I think an OL needs game reps to gel. I think the wild card is Jones for Alabama returning on special teams. He had two special teams TDs in week1 against VT, a game they won 35-10.

I think A&M will win 34-30.

CompleteLunacy

September 13th, 2013 at 5:40 PM ^

Bama did not look as dominant as previous versions against VT, particularly on offense. I honestly think the key to the game is the Bama offense vs. the A&M defense. Because both have shown vulnerabilities this year. I think Manziel will get some points against Bama, but those points will be hard to get. 

I do think Bama wins, somewhat comfortably. But I would say a close game is much more likely than a Bama blowout.

MGoVoldemort

September 13th, 2013 at 5:42 PM ^

I think Johnny Football is in their heads. Couple that with the absolute mad house college station will be Saturday night, I think it'll be too much for the tide. This is not the same Alabama team it has been the last 4 years. The offensive line is young, and the secondary is a bigger problem than anyone will admit to. It's going to be ridicuously hot and humid, and A&M is very deep and very talented at wideout. Plus the fact that A&M has been practicing in the heat, I think A&M wins this by more than people think. As a matter of fact, I don't think this will be the only game Bama loses this year. I

Double Wolverine

September 14th, 2013 at 12:17 AM ^

I think a lot of Johnny Football's off the field stuff will catch up to him in this game. He didn't have any issues against Rice and SHS but those defenses do not compare to Bama. In a true game of inches the extra read Peyton could have taught him or those extra few reps will put Manziel at just enough of a disadvantage. I don't think Bama wins by 14, but I could see a score of 31-24 with a late Manziel interception.

turtleboy

September 13th, 2013 at 5:43 PM ^

I have to agree. A&M caught bama with their pants down last year. The Tide gave literally everything to beat LSU the week before and nobody knew who Manziel was. They're two different teams this year, but A&M can't stop anyone from scoring on them, and Bama is still dominating both sides of the ball. The Aggies can win, but I'd be surprised if they do.

LSAClassOf2000

September 13th, 2013 at 5:44 PM ^

If I remember correctly, the line is something like Alabama by 7.5, so there is that to consider if indeed you follow the lines. In any case, the summary comparison, courtesy of TeamRankings (not far into season, disclaimers, etc...).

OFFENSE
Alabama TAMU
Yards/Play 3.1   7.1
Points/Play 0.530   0.765
Rush Play % 57.58%   57.35%
Pass Play % 42.42%   42.65%
Completion % 41.67%   74.07%
3D Conv % 35.29%   40.00%
RZ Scoring % 100.00%   100.00%
DEFENSE
Alabama TAMU
Opp Yards/Play 3.5   5.7
Opp Points/Play 0.167   0.344
Opp Completion % 19.23%   56.76%
Opp 3D Conv % 17.65%   41.18%
Opp RZ Scoring % 100.00%   100.00%

 

exmtroj

September 13th, 2013 at 5:46 PM ^

I honestly could see Manziel getting knocked out of the game tomorrow. Not that I think Bama's D will play dirty, but they are going to trying to hit him hard on every single play with a near maniacal intensity. Last year's game has been playing in the Bama facilities on repeat for a year, this team is out for all kinds of blood.

Also, Alabama's major weakness is offset by A&M's. That A&M defense is not good at all and it even takes their offense a couple quarters to hit its stride.

I don't think it's all that close of a game. I have a feeling we'll be looking at a close-ish final score saying, "it wasn't really as close as the final score shows."

Blue Ambition

September 13th, 2013 at 6:32 PM ^

I was at the Rice game and saw much of the SHSU game. The A&M defense was questionable, particularly against the run. However, in both games A&M played extreme vanilla defense schematically.  Against Rice they stayed in base 4-3 virtually the entire way, played soft corner coverage on WRs, and hardly blitzed at all, even as Rice was marching down the field.

It was frustrating to watch (as someone rooting for the Aggies), but it was clear that they are saving all schematic surprises for Alabama.  The Aggie D is still a mystery.

 

exmtroj

September 13th, 2013 at 11:27 PM ^

Still though, shouldn't even a vanilla scheme work against a Rice or Sam Houston State if you have much better players? We had a pretty vanilla scheme against CMU's offense, and only gave up 9 points, 3 if you factor in the turnovers deep in our own end.

I agree a vanilla scheme will lead to a less impressive overall showing, but they gave up a ton of points to two lower-tier teams.

Blue Ambition

September 14th, 2013 at 12:34 AM ^

Well there's no question that the A&M weakness is at LB and the run defense generally. But I'm telling you as someone who has seen the Aggies up close, they aren't as bad as the stat sheet indicates. The vanilla scheme is part of it. Last year they flew to the football and forced turnovers; against Rice & SHSU they were read-and-react.

They also just came out flat in both games and gradually wore down the inferior opposition. Kind of like when Lloyd Carr's teams would play MAC teams in week 1.

x98

September 13th, 2013 at 5:52 PM ^

But I really don't see how anyone believes Texas a&m will only score 14 PTs. They might lose but to think Alabama defense which lost tons of leadership in key areas will dominate is silly. If Sunseri has a good game bama wins, if not watch out. Yeldon will do his thing the game will be alot closer than Vegas see's it.