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November 9, 2012
Staff Picks: Texas A&M
The TideSports.com staff make their predictions for Alabama matchup with Texas A&M.
Texas A&M 24
Alabama's defense, which allowed 435 yards in the win over LSU, hasn't faced a dual-threat quarterback like Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel. To win this game and book a trip to Atlanta, Alabama has to keep pounding away with its offense. Every three-and-out for Alabama means another opportunity for Manziel and his teammates, who have shown no fear of playing on the road. Texas A&M might not be as physical as LSU, but Alabama will have to earn it to get a win.
Texas A&M 13
Texas A&M will bring another hurry-up, no-huddle offense to Tuscaloosa Saturday, but they'll bring more firepower than Ole Miss did. Quarterback Johnny Manziel presents a challenge with his athleticism and arm. Offensively, UA could use another quick start, which it has gotten for most of the season.
Texas A&M 17
There are more than a few factors favoring Texas A&M in the game. No least of which is its position at the end of a rough stretch of schedule for the Crimson Tide. But the Dennis Franchione Avengers will prevail over the Hurricane Gilbert Memorial Aggies and their sensational young quarterback.
Texas A&M 24
The Aggies might be the most dynamic offensive team Alabama will face before a potential BCS matchup against Oregon. Johnny Manziel will put an intense amount of stress on the Crimson Tide defense and be good preparation for a potential BCS matchup against Kansas State's Collin Klein. The Tide defense surrendered a lot of yardage to LSU and is no doubt still banged up. I don't think A&M has the wherewithal to pull the upset, but this won't be easy for Alabama.
Texas A&M 20
Texas A&M and Johnny Manziel sputtered when they faced their two biggest defensive challenges in Florida and LSU. But this game falls perfectly in the schedule for the Aggies since Alabama is coming off such an emotional and physical game with LSU. The Crimson Tide had its worst defensive performance last week, so Johnny Football may cause problems early before Alabama adjusts to Texas A&M's frantic pace.
Texas A&M 24
After winning such an emotional game last week against a tough LSU team it would be hard to believe Alabama would come out today and play unispired football. After all, the Tide just passed it's biggest test and is so close to another shot at a national title. If they don't come ready to play, The Aggies could easily take advantage and walk out of Bryant-Denny Stadium with a win. What a horrible follow-up that would be after last week's instant classic win over LSU.
Texas A&M 14
Week after week it seems like we're saying the Tide's opponent will offer the biggest test to date. The temptation is to say it again. But I won't. But UA had better be on top of its game. If not, Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel may be running around and over the defense. A few weeks ago, I read a comment about how only an SEC school could keep an SEC school from winning the national championship. There is some truth to that. The line is 131⁄2. Sounds about right.
Texas A&M 21
There are two schools of thought on this game. Either it's the week that Texas A&M proves last week's performance by the Alabama defense was no fluke, or the Crimson Tide gets its defensive act together. The Aggies will move the ball and score, no doubt. But let's not forget that this is the toughest road game for A&M all season. If this were in College Station I'd be picking the Aggies.