No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) vs. No. 7 Texas A&M Aggies (2-0 SU, 0-2 ATS)
College Football Week 3
Date and Time: Saturday September 14th, 2013. 3:30PM Eastern
Where: Kyle Field College Station, T.X.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Ala -7.5/A&M +7.5
Over/Under Total: 63
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One of the most anticipated rematches of the season will take center stage this Saturday when Johnny Football and the no. 7 Texas A&M Aggies try to knock off the top ranked Alabama Crimson Tide for the 2nd straight year. Last November the Aggies stunned the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa 29-24 in what became one of the biggest upsets of the year. This Saturday the number 1 ranked Crimson Tide get their shot at revenge in what will be a huge SEC West showdown. While Alabama is the heavy favorite to not only win the SEC Championship but also another National Championship, the Aggies could derail those hopes with another upset victory while also taking control of the division race.
Texas A&M has been impressive on offense early this season against inferior opponents by racking up over 1,200 yards in just two games. The Aggies offense can be absolutely agonizing to defend even for an Alabama defense that many consider the top defensive group in college football. Johnny 'Football' Manziel completed 28 of 41 passing for 403 yards with 3 touchdowns and 1 pick in last week's blowout victory over Sam Houston State. The Aggies star quarterback does a nice job of spreading the ball around and finding open receivers. In fact, 11 different receivers caught at least 1 pass in last week's 65-28 victory. If Alabama's defensive front is unable to get pressure quickly to Manziel, he has the poise to check down his options and find the open receiver to keep the chains moving.
Through the Aggies first two games this year, the offense has averaged 600 total yards per game and 58.5 points. Obviously those numbers have been produced against inferior opponents but Kevin Sumlin has to like the offense's chances to have success against Alabama. Perhaps the bigger concern for Sumlin's group surrounds the play of the defense. The Aggies defense has been anything but impressive thus far this year. In the opener to Rice, the Aggies defense relinquished over 500 total yards and more than 300 yards on the ground. Last week Sam Houston State, a FCS school, had a ton of success running the football as well racking up 240 yards against the Aggies defense. Now the Aggies defense that has been unable to stop the run, has to find some answers against one of the most dynamic power rushing offenses in college football by way of the Crimson Tide.
Alabama was not overly impressive of offense in their only outing of the year two weeks back against Virginia Tech. The offense posted just 206 total yards despite a rather decisive 35-10 victory. QB A.J McCaron completed just 10 of 23 passes and the typically dominate Alabama run game was held to just 96 yards rushing. However I think you have to give Bud Foster's Hokies defense a lot credit for playing well against Alabama up front as they are also an extremely talented group. The offensive line received a lot of criticism following the Virginia Tech and many think they could have a tough year after losing so much experience from last year's National Championship team. However I am not going to jump to any over reactions after just 1 performance. I believe the Crimson Tide offensive line will be just fine this weekend and they will control the line of scrimmage against a rather weak Texas A&M defensive front.
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Crimson Tide running back T.J Yeldon is one of the best running backs in the nation and considering how awful the Aggies have defended the run, I believe Yeldon could be the difference maker this Saturday. I just do not see how the Aggies defense can match up against the Alabama offensive line from what I have seen from both teams thus far. Additionally if Alabama is able to control the line of scrimmage, that will also be a big help to A.J McCaron in the play action passing game. McCaron is an accurate thrower and I would expect him to have a big impact in this Saturday's game as well. Despite the fact that many bettors will be on Johnny Football and the Aggies offense, it will be the Aggies defense that lets those bettors down.
Your Name's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Take Alabama -7.5!
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