The Run down
Every college football fan remembers the 10th of November, 2012- the night that Texas A&M rolled into Tuscaloosa and crushed Alabama’s dream of winning back-to-back National Championships… or so every college football fan thought.
This year, Texas A&M is hoping to use their home field advantage, as well as their Heisman winning QB, Johnny Manziel, to prevent the Tide from posting its third National Championship in the past four years. In last year’s game against Bama, Manziel passed for 253 yards and rushed for 92 more. He single-handedly dominated the #1 defense in the nation. He threw Bama’s defense off with his speed, agility, and field vision. Where most quarterbacks would see a pocket and look for a receiver, Manziel took the pocket himself, creating a one man show.
Alabama is used to the huddled offense that allows the defense time to set up, but the Aggies like to keep the defense on their toes. This year, Manziel is hoping to try stopping the Tide from once again rolling into Pasadena to play for a National Championship. But for the Aggies, it’s easier said than done. For starters, Manziel is the same quarterback. Alabama has had a whole year to prepare a defense that should be able to read and execute Manziel’s rushing and passing options. Unless Texas A & M and Manziel create a whole new offense, Manziel will become another Tim Tebow– a great quarterback who was demolished by the defense of the Crimson Tide the second year playing him.
Although Manziel has great speed and field vision, he is predictable and that is something that a great defense like Alabama thrives on. Also, the Tide’s defense is full of familiar faces such as CJ Moseley, Haha Clinton Dix, and Vinnie Sunseri just to name a few. Moseley, who decided to stay for his senior year, is looking to lead his team at the linebacker position. If he can read and dictate the moves Manziel makes, he and his defense will really limit the game for the Aggies.
What does A&M have to do to win?
The Aggies simply have to be unpredictable. They have to keep Bama’s defense on their toes like last year. If Manziel and his offense can create a whole new offensive look, then the Aggies not only have a shot of beating Alabama, but they have a shot to play for the SEC Championship and possibly the National Championship. Home field advantage may also be a plus for the Aggies, but as we saw last year in ‘Death Valley’, the Crimson Tide does just as well at opponents’ homes as well as their own.
What does Bama have to do?
Simply be dominant. Offensively, if McCarron and Yeldon execute, the offense will have no problem. Bama had nine starters drafted by the NFL in 2013. Some are concerned about the offensive line without Barrett Jones, Chance Warmack, and DJ Fluker, but with Saban’s coaching and recruiting ability, there is no need to worry about the offensive line. As for the defense, execution is the key. Moseley has to step up to read and then lead his defense. If Bama can do those two things, Alabama will be on the road to # 16.
Who do I think will win?
Alabama. The Tide has experience with Manziel. Just like Tim Tebow, Alabama will dominate the second time around. Alabama also has the depth in both the offense and defense to help them beat the Aggies in College Station, Texas, this September.