When The Texas A&M Aggies and The Alabama Crimson Tide walk into Kyle Field this Saturday, fans everywhere will be anxiously awaiting ‘The Game of the Century’. If you’ve been under a rock the last year, you may be wondering why it is being called such. Last season SEC newcomer Texas A&M strolled into Tuscaloosa and punched The Tide in the face.
Johnny Manziel scored two touchdowns, rushed 92 yards, and threw 253 more. It was a huge upset, and it catapulted Texas A&M into the spotlight. The Aggies beat the undefeated BCS National Champions in their own territory 29-24 and since then The Tide has been out for revenge. While The Aggies are undefeated now, there are red flags that even the most inexperienced fan can see.
Coach Nick Saban likes to play an NFL style game by running the ball and having a strong defense. If Alabama’s run game isn’t contained then The Tide will control the clock and keep field time in their favor. The fact of the matter is that if The Aggies want to win, they’ll have to contain Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon. How will that happen?
Texas A&M’s defensive ends have done a poor job this season holding down the running game against both Rice and Sam Houston State. Both opponents succeeded in running wide against their defense, and if that happens against Alabama then The Aggies offense won’t see much action.
Containing Yeldon once he has the ball can be very difficult, but the obvious point is that the first defender to touch Yeldon needs to bring him down. Virginia Tech only allowed Yeldon 75 yards on 17 carries because they did just that. The Aggies have a defense that could do it, but it will take teamwork.
Another key element is getting The Tide out of their comfort zone. If Texas A&M scores at least twice or more in the first half that will force Alabama to play catch up which will make their offense more transparent.
That job lies with Aggie quarterback Johnny Manziel. If he can stay calm and composed against the bloodthirsty Tide then Texas A&M has a chance despite Alabama being favored to win.
Will The Aggies be be able to handle the simmering anger of head coach Nick Saban? Will The Tide be able to stop Johnny Football? This amazing match up will set the tone for each team this season. There is so much hype surrounding this match up, and if we know anything about Saban and Manziel: they’re sure to deliver.