In November 2012, Johnny Manziel and the Texas A&M Aggies upset the Alabama Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa. Since then however, the Aggies haven’t tasted victory against the Tide. A seven-game winning streak for ‘Bama has been prevalent in these SEC West showdowns, and they have thoroughly dominated them in the process. They hold five wins of double digits, and two of 20+ points, including a 59-0 throttling back in October 2014.
Alabama will carry that seven-game win streak over the Aggies into Saturday’s clash on CBS. The two teams, ranked inside the Top 10, will provide us with the ‘SEC Game of the Week’ and it should be rather intriguing. Both teams had interesting encounters in Week 1. Alabama won big over the Missouri Tigers, but didn’t cover that gaudy four-touchdown spread. Texas A&M, on the other hand, struggled until the final sequences against the Vanderbilt Commodores. Nevertheless, both are 1-0, and both have some momentum barreling forward.
Alabama’s Mac Jones was effective against Mizzou. In his first start of the season, Jones went 16-for-24 with 249 passing yards, two touchdowns, zero interceptions, and averaged a robust 10.4 yards per attempt. The team finished with 32 total pass attempts, as freshman Bryce Young got. in there and tossed eight of his own. But of course, Alabama ran the ball more than they passed, netting 36 rushing attempts. 21 of them went to Najee Harris and Brian Robinson Jr., and those two combined for 116 yards on 21 carries. Harris found the end zone three times, and while the the team finished with 3.1 yards per carry, Jones and Young had five “runs” for a combined six yards, with Young going for 12 once. DeVonta Smith had a carry for -12 yards. So the final stats were just a bit misleading to say the least.
A&M, meanwhile, didn’t have a great game through the air but sliced up Vandy on the ground. Kellen Mond started off with 6.8 yards per attempt, going 17-for-28 with 189 yards. He didn’t toss any interceptions, and did throw a touchdown to Caleb Chapman. But he certainly didn’t have the start he envisioned. Isaiah Spiller, though, had a great night at the office. He rambled for 117 yards on just eight carries. He ran through Vandy quite well, with a YPC of 14.8. Ainias Smith had the team’s lone rushing touchdown and ran for 51 yards on 10 carries.
This matchup feels like one that will be won in the trenches. Given A&M’s lack of receiving firepower, they’re going to have to rely on Spiller and Smith lots to get them to win. Alabama has explosive receiving talent all over the field, so unless the Aggies contain it, it could be a long afternoon for them in Tuscaloosa if they aren’t careful.
How to Watch
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. CT
Spread: Alabama -17.5
Neither team covered the spread a week ago, so both start off at 0-1. I think the Aggie defense is capable as hell to grind Alabama for a bit. But, offensively, I do not think they can keep up with the Joneses. 53.5 points is a lot, so I’d wonder about staying away from this. But if I had to make a pick I’d lean Alabama -17.5. Perhaps the 1H spread is your play in this one.