Week 8: “Showdown In Tuscaloosa” #6 Texas A&M vs. #1 Alabama

October 8, 2016: Texas A&M Aggies wide receiver Christian Kirk (3) stiff arms his way to the end zone for a first half touchdown during the Tennessee Volunteers vs Texas A&M Aggies game at Kyle Field, College Station, Texas. (Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire)


Since 2012, Alabama is 3-1 over Texas A&M and has won those games by an average margin of 28 points per game. Last season, in College Station, the Aggies lost 41-23 to the Crimson Tide and had 3 interceptions that were returned for touchdowns.


Texas A&M:

The Aggies have one of the most balanced offenses in college football averaging 40 points per game. Texas A&M is rushing for 274 yards per game along with passing for 258 yards through the air this season.

The difference for the offense has been quarterback Trevor Knight that has brought an added dimension to the position this season. Knight has completed 53% of his passes for 1,500 yards with 9 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. However, it has been his ability running the football that has made this offense dynamic. Knight has rushed for 502 yards with 9 touchdowns and puts pressure on opposing defenses to spy him at all times. Knight’s mobility has taken pressure off of the offensive line which has allowed 6 sacks through the team’s first six games. Last year, the offensive line allowed 37 sacks with quarterbacks Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray.

Freshman running back Trayveon Williams has been one of the most explosive backs in the country and leads the team with 704 rushing yards averaging 8.5 yards per carry with 5 touchdowns. Keith Ford is a tough inside runner that has rushed for 242 yards averaging 4.9 yards per carry with 3 scores.

The wide receivers will be counted on this weekend to stretch the Tide secondary early on to open up running lanes for Williams and Knight. Josh Reynolds leads the team with 25 receptions for 488 yards with 4 touchdowns while Christian Kirk leads the team with 40 receptions for 352 yards with 4 scores.

Defensively, the Aggies are allowing 19 points per game and are holding opponents to 34% on their third down conversions.

Defensive ends DaShon Hall and Myles Garrett have combined for 7.5 sack and will be counted on to put pressure on Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts. Texas A&M has recorded 20 total sacks through 6 games and must force Hurts into quick decisions int he passing game.

Texas A&M is allowing 159 rushing yards per game and 278 passing yards per game. The X-Factor for the defense is safety Armani Watts. Look for Watts to spy Hurts throughout the game in run support. That will allow defensive coordinator John Chavis to dial up run blitz packages and put pressure on the Alabama offensive line.

Entering this game, the Aggies are +6 in turnover margin.



The Crimson Tide is averaging 45 points per game after their dominating road performance over Tennessee in Knoxville (49-10).

The Crimson Tide is averaging 265 rushing yards per game and passing for 239 yards per game.

Quarterback Jalen Hurts has been very impressive in his first year under center for Nick Saban and offensive coordinator Lane Kiffen. Hurts is a dual threat quarterback that has completed 63% of his passes for 1,385 yards with 9 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Hurts has also added 478 rushing yards averaging 5.7 yards per carry with 8 scores on the ground.


Running back Damien Harris leads the team with 572 rushing yards averaging 8.2 yards per carry with one touchdown. Harris has the speed to take it to the house every time he touches the rock and will be counted on this weekend to move the chains between the tackles.

Alabama is converting 48% of their third down attempts this season. Wide receivers Calvin Ridley and ArDarius Stewart have combined for 65 receptions for 856 yards with 7 touchdowns.

Tight end O.J Howard has caught 14 passes for 209 yards with one score and can be used in this game on nickel backs or linebackers to create mismatches.


Defensively, the Crimson Tide boast the nation’s top rush defense allowing 63 rushing yards per game. In Alabama’s last three SEC games to Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee they have allowed 59 yards per game on the ground and will look to contain the Aggies high powered offense.

Alabama is allowing 15 points per game along with giving up 210 passing yards to opposing offenses.

The Crimson Tide has recorded 27 total sacks through seven games and enters this game +4 in turnover margin.








About Joseph Lisi

Joseph Lisi is a member of the FWAA (Football Writers Association of America), the Maxwell Football Club and the National Football Foundation. He is the owner of the website: www.goforthe2.com and hosts a weekly college football radio show on SB Nation Radio and FNSTY Sports Radio from 10-12pm EST every Saturday morning. Listen live at: www.sbnationradio.com or www.fntsy.com/radio. Joseph is a former college football researcher for ABC Sports and has been featured on: SportsXRadio with Ken Thomson, ESPN Radio, Sirius XM Radio, FNTSY Sports Network, the Sid Rosenberg Show (640 AM Sports-South Florida), 1560 AM CBS Sports Melbourne, FL and multiple media outlets throughout the nation. Joe appears every Friday with Ken Thomson on SportsXRadio for the Football Fiasco in which every game on the college board is broken down during the show. Follow Joe on Twitter: @goforthe2

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