Who? #1 Alabama (1-0) @ #6 Texas A&M (2-0)
When? Saturday, September 14, 3:30 P.M. (CBS)
Where? Kyle Field, College Station, Texas
Impact Players, Alabama: QB A.J. McCarron, HB T.J. Yeldon, WR Amari Cooper, LB C.J. Mosely, DB Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
Impact Players, Texas A&M: QB Johnny Manziel, HB Ben Malena, WR Mike Evans, DB DeShazor Everett, DB Howard Matthews
Head Coach Matchup: Nick Saban (7th year at Alabama, 69-13) vs Kevin Sumlin (2nd year at Texas A&M, 13-2)
Matchup to Watch: Alabama’s O-Line vs Texas A&M’s D-Line
Prediction: Alabama 31, Texas A&M 20
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In the most expensive college football game of all time at an average price of $770 a ticket, the next so-called “game of the century” between national powers Alabama and Texas A&M will be a treat for college football fanatics across the country.
Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, with a record of 26-2 record heading into the game, looks to right the ship after a shaky performance against unranked Virginia Tech.
Meanwhile, Heisman-trophy winning quarterback Johnny Manziel enters the game with a streak of confidence, considering his first two games in which he racked up 575 all-purpose yards and seven touchdowns. The battle on Saturday afternoon between two SEC-West schools might also tell whether the Kerrville, Texas native is on his way to another Heisman.
But whether or not Manziel and A&M’s puts up the numbers versus the sure-fire number one defense in the country, the Aggies will have to play much better defensively than they did in their first two contests. Both Rice and Sam Houston State have pretty much run the ball at will versus the team’s rush defense, earning 306 yards and 240 yards on the ground, respectively.
And now enter T.J. Yeldon, who shattered the Crimson Tide freshman rushing record just a year ago, and is now seeking a monster game in his first trip to College Station. Sure, many may argue that the Alabama O-Line was pushed and shoved around in the CFA Kickoff Game against the Hokies, but this is still Alabama, so look for a solid bounce-back performance on Saturday.
The Tide will also have to work on shutting down Ben Malena, Tra Carson, and the Aggies’ running game, who offer a nice relieve to the Manziel passing attack.
And so, here it is. The consensus penultimate game of the year is almost live, and millions of eyes will be glued to their television sets for a game that will be remembered, whatever the outcome. And while I do love Texas A&M’s passing attack with Johnny Football and crew, I say A.J. McCarron wins another huge contest for Saban’s Alabama resume, 31-20.