Game Time: Saturday, October 12th, 3:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. local
Odds: Alabama (-17), -800 (Alabama Moneyline), +640 (Texas A&M Moneyline), O/U (61 points)
The last time a Alabama went into College Station, Nick Saban described media acknowledgement of dominance following the game as “rat poison.”
See, that evening the Tide were coming off two games where they beat SEC opponents by a combined score of 125-3. The very next week, they escaped with a 27-19 victory over Kevin Sumlin’s last Aggies team.
Things went a bit sideways for Nick Saban’s squad that evening. And for perspective, that particular defense had veterans like Minkah Fitzpatrick, Ronnie Harrison, Shaun Dion Hamilton and Rashaan Evans.
However, the Tide offense didn’t have Tua Tagovailoa, Jerry Jeudy, Devonta Smith, Henry Ruggs III and Najee Harris as starters. This is what a stingy A&M defense is going up against on Saturday.
This is going to be a really good match up. The Aggies are 23rd in the FBS in total defense (299 ypg), 20th in scoring defense (17.8 ppg), while the Tide are in the top 5 in both on offense. This is the best either squad has seen from an opponent up to this point, so you can imagine that the No. 1 team may have a game on their hands.
What will make it a game is the youngest defense Saban’s had at Alabama going up against a veteran mobile quarterback in Kellen Mond. The Tide front seven (four freshmen starters) has had a hellishly difficult time in the run game, which flies in the face of what Alabama defenses are supposed to be.
Mond put up nearly 100 yards on the ground in last year’s game and although the A&M offensive line has struggled a bit in pass protection, Mond is the type of quarterback who can escape the pocket with ease, making it difficult for a Tide defense who’s made a habit of losing contain against conference opponents in 2019.
On top of the Tide’s kicking game (both place and punting) being well below par and A&M’s being very good, this game could be even more interesting than what the experts in Vegas think.
Aggies’ coach Jimbo Fisher is going to cook up some misdirection against the two Tide freshmen inside LBs and this will probably be a game going into the 3rd quarter, but Nick Saban currently sits at 17-0 against his old assistants and with those weapons on offense, not much is going to change on Saturday.
Prediction: Alabama 42 Texas A&M 28