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The Crimson Tide have a ton of momentum going into Week 6. After a strong performance against Ole Miss in nearly all facets of competition, Alabama will look to maintain composure against Texas A&M on Saturday.
Many pundits believed that this game would be between a couple of undefeated top-five teams. One of these teams fits the bill, but the other has slid drastically into oblivion.
Texas A&M enters the matchup on a two-loss streak following consecutive heartbreaking losses to Arkansas and Mississippi State. Their record on the year sits at a level well below what everybody expected coming into the season at 3-2. They now face a very real threat to move to 0-3 in SEC play.
Let’s go over the five reasons why Alabama will succeed in putting Texas A&M back in their place for the ninth consecutive time.
5. Texas A&M's QB situation is in disarray
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Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Texas A&M is playing without their starting QB Haynes King, who went down in a Week 3 matchup against Colorado. He isn’t expected to return to action until somewhere around mid-October. In his place has been redshirt-sophomore Zach Calzada, who hasn’t shown he can throw an accurate pass or make good decisions on the fly.
On the season, Calzada has completed just under 54% of his passes for 744 yards and just five TDs. He has thrown four interceptions.
Alabama can, and will, employ looks designed to confuse the inexperienced Calzada, which is sure to force plenty of mistakes.
4. Aggie offensive line has not performed well
Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports
The Texas A&M line isn’t good. They move in separate directions as individual players instead of as a collective unit, showing no continuity within the group.
An offensive line must be able to move as one and complete assignments effectively to be make a positive impact.
This Aggie O-Line is very inexperienced, with four newcomers that didn’t see the field as starters during the 2020 season. Two true-freshmen in Bryce Foster and Reuben Fatheree are also starting for Texas A&M on the line, with Foster filling in for the injured Luke Matthews.
Jimbo Fisher says Aggie OL Luke Matthews had surgery today (shoulder) and will miss the remainder of the season.
— Billy Liucci (@billyliucci) October 4, 2021
This line has given up 12 sacks on the season. To boot, they can barely get push off the line of scrimmage to create meaningful holes in the running game.
The way the Alabama D-line has been playing, don’t expect the trench-battle to be a close one on Saturday.
3. Balanced offensive Alabama attack will overwhelm Aggie defense
Gary Cosby-USA TODAY Sports
Last week against Ole Miss, the Crimson Tide got its groove back in the running game. Brian Robinson Jr wore down the Rebels defensively, going for 171 yards on 34 carries and putting the ball into the endzone four times.
Even with a depleted unit by way of Jase McClellan’s season-ending knee injury and freshman Camar Wheaton’s day-to-day meniscus injury, the Tide should be able to overwhelm the Aggies defense with enough of a rush-attack to allow big plays in the passing game.
Bryce Young is coming into Week 6 with 1,365 yards passing and just under a remarkable 70% completion-rate. His 17 passing TDs are good enough for 4th best in the country.
With the Aggies down 2 CBs, an announcement that was made by Jimbo Fisher on Monday, they won’t have the depth or skill at the position to stop John Metchie III and Jameson Williams, among others.
Expect another big performance for the Crimson Tide offensively on Saturday.
2. Injuries have hurt the Aggies
As mentioned previously, Texas A&M will be missing a ton of key pieces on Saturday.
To add to the long list to go along with QB Haynes King, the Aggies will now also be without cornerbacks Myles Jones and Brian George and starting center Luke Matthews.
Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said cornerbacks Myles Jones and Brian George and offensive lineman Luke Matthews are out for the rest of the season because of injuries. https://t.co/b4QHd8n87F
— Houston Chronicle (@HoustonChron) October 5, 2021
These injuries severely deplete the depth that Texas A&M boasted before the beginning of the season. The team that will take the field on Saturday against the No. 1 team in the country is only a shell of what it was and what it would have been up to this point.
The results should point to this fact following the game.
1. Nick Saban still owns his former assistants
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Saban improved his record against his former assistants last week to 24-0, leaving Lane Kiffin sobbing into a bag of popcorn salted with his own tears.
Former Saban disciples still haven’t been able to craft an elixir to help defeat their prior mentor.
Formulating a plan against the greatest coach in football history who also happens to know what makes you tick as a coach isn’t a recipe for success as a college football head coach.
Expect the record to reach a quarter of a century on Saturday.
Come Sunday morning, choirs in Alabama will be singing Psalms of Nick Saban’s 25-0 record against his past tutees.
Alabama will take on Texas A&M in College Station on Saturday at 7 p.m. CT. You can watch it live on CBS.
Stay tuned to Roll Tide Wire for continued coverage of the Alabama Crimson Tide!