Five questions heading into Alabama's game against Texas A&M
No. 1 Alabama heads into its first ranked matchup of the season this week as it travels to No. 24 Texas A&M on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CT. The Crimson Tide holds a six-game winning streak over the Aggies with Texas A&M’s last win in the series coming in 2012 when Johnny Manziel helped upset Alabama inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama is expected to continue its winning ways against Texas A&M this weekend as VegasInsider.com lists the Crimson Tide as a 16.5-point favorite.
Here are five questions to consider heading into the matchup.
How quickly can Tua Tagovailoa gel with a new center?
Tua Tagovailoa sat back in his chair and pondered over the question before answering. With starting center Chris Owens questionable for Saturday’s game, Alabama has been preparing for a potential change at the position. However, the starting quarterback hasn’t really considered what that means in terms of chemistry on snaps.
“I think that's something that's probably underlooked,” Tagovailoa said crossing his arms. “I don't think as a quarterback you really think of that, but now that you've brought it up, and I'm really thinking about it, I'm not too sure. It's a good question. I think it's just something that's just day-to-day, progressively get better at.”
Tagovailoa explained there are certain subtle indicators he gives his centers pre-snap in order to signal when he’s ready to snap the ball.
“There's this thing I do, let's say the cadence is on 2, so 'Ready, set, hut,' the top of my hand, the pressure would be an indicator to the center that you should snap the ball, like get ready to snap the ball,” he said. “If we're going quick, regardless if they knew the count, the pressure, you know, with my hand would indicate that now you're going to snap the ball when I say 'go' this time. Just like getting reps with them and kind of telling them this is what I want, and you go from there.”
Of course, Alabama will likely take most of its snaps from the shotgun this weekend as it battles the noise from more than 102,000 screaming fans inside Kyle Field. Out of the shotgun, snaps are issued on claps with the offensive linemen needing to know the snap count beforehand.
"On the road, we're not under center too much,” Tagovailoa said. “So you start off with a clap and we also have a mix-up of cadences as well. So if it does get too loud — which it probably will — then we'll adjust accordingly from there."
Will Waddle break a big return?
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