COLLEGE STATION Texas A&M
Players to watch - Offense
The bigger the stage and brighter the lights, the better Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel seems to play. This is a huge stage with a very bright light and Manziel needs to play well Satruday afternoon to give the Aggies a chance to win. For the season, Manziel has thrown for 520 yards and six touchdowns. He has also run for 55 yards and a touchdown.
Players to watch - Defense
Linebacker Steven Jenkins is back in the lineup Saturday after being suspended for the first two games for violating Texas A&M athletics department rules and regulations. Jenkins was a starter in the Aggies win over Alabama last season, so he knows what it is like to face this program. Jenkins will need to have a solid game Saturday to help the Aggie defense slow down the Crimson Tide.
Keys to the game
The Aggie offense was known for fast starts last season. A year ago, they jumped out to a 20-0 lead over Alabama. Another fast start Saturday would help the A&M cause as they look to make it back to back wins in this series.
The Aggies have to be better against the run Saturday. They enter play last in the SEC giving up 273 yards rushing a game.
With two teams this evenly matched, turnovers could be the difference. The Aggies need to win the turnover battle Saturday. For the season, Texas A&M is plus two in turnover margain.
Players to watch - offense
The Alabama offense is led by quarterback A.J. McCarron but, we put running back T.J. Yeldon in the spotlight. With the Aggies struggles against the run this year, Yeldon could be a big factor in this game. He ran for 75 yards and a touchdown in the Crimson Tides win over Virginia Tech in the team's season opener.
Players to watch - defense
Defensively, keep an eye on Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley. H will likely be a key in the Crimson Tide's effort to slow down the A&M offense. Mosley had seven tackles against Virginia Tech.
Keys to the game
Alabama needs to be more productive on offense Saturday. This contest could turn into a shootout with the Aggies averaging 58 and a half points per game. Alabama had just 206 yards of offense against Virginia Tech.
If there is a defense in the country that can slow down the Aggies high flying attack it is Alabama. The Tide held Virginia Tech to just 59 yards passing. Another solid effort protecting against the pass will help Alabama's chances of winning Saturday.
Alabama's Tide will have to find a way to communicate Saturday. It should be wild inside Kyle Field with the 12th man going crazy. The Crimson Tide can not get rattled and start making mistakes or the crowd will get even louder.
The Aggies enter Saturday's game 2-0 on the season and ranked number six in the country. A&M is coming off a 65-28 win over Sam Houston State. Johnny Manziel threw for 426 yards and three touchdowns in his first start of the season. Last year's victory over Alabama was Manziel's heisman signature moment but even with a win over the Crimson Tide and the reigning heisman winner the Aggies are still the underdog Saturday.
"The win against Alabama, some people think it was a fluke," said Texas AM defensive back Deshazor Everett.
"I mean, they're a good team. We go into the game thinking we can beat anybody and that's how we're going to approach this game, but we can't just go in thinking we're going to walk in there and run over them. I mean it is alabama and they are a good team so we have to come ready to play. I'm sure they're going to come ready to play after last year. after taking off," he continued.
Alabama comes to College Station as the number one ranked team in the country. The crimson tide have played just one game this season. They beat Virginia Tech 35-10 two weeks ago in Atlanta in the Chick-fil-a kickoff game. To get to 2-0 on the year, the Tide know they will have to play well going against the Aggie defense.
"Very overall sound defense and they do a really good job of keeping you up while others are trying to strip the football," said Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron.
"We gotta take care of the ball, that's the biggest thing, especially playing on the road. take care of the football and have positive plays," he continued.
Saturday is the sixth meeting between Texas A&M and Aalabama. The Crimson Tide lead the all-time series three games to two. The Aggies won last year's meeting 29-24 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. The last time the two teams played in Aggieland was back in 1988.
The 12th Man for Saturday's game will be Sam Moeller. He has worn the number 12 against both Rice and Sam Houston State. Moeller has recorded two tackles this season. He is a sophomore defensive back from San Antonio.