Alabama vs. Texas A&M: Who has the edge?

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Saturday’s prolific matchup between #1 Alabama and #6 Texas A&M is what is beautiful about college football. Endless storylines surround the SEC’s game of the year.

Related: Alabama vs. Texas A&M preview

So, let’s take a gander at each team’s units:

Quarterback

Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M: 34 of 49 for 497 yards, 6 TDs, 1 INT
AJ McCarron, Alabama: 10 of 23 for 110 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Buzz: Two different players who are great in their systems, but the better player entering week three is Manziel. He has to be, because the offense is revolved around his ability to create plays and throw lasers to his receivers. McCarron isn’t the difference maker for Bama; the running game will be, but Manziel will be the biggest difference maker on the field Saturday.
Edge: Texas A&M

Related: Sumlin not a fan of Johnny Cam

Running Back

Ben Malena, Texas A&M: 22 carries for 173 yards and 2 TDs
TJ Yeldon, Alabama: 17 carries for 75 yards and 1 TD
Buzz: Both backfields are loaded. TAMU has Malena, Brandon Williams, Trey Williams and Tra Carson, the pounder who has scored four TDs through two weeks. Alabama will feature TJ Yeldon, but you’ll also see freshmen Derrick Henry and Altee Tenpenny. Alabama has the most talented back in the game with Yeldon, but Texas A&M has the most potent running game with their four-headed monster in the backfield, combined with Manziel and the O-line.
Running back edge: Alabama
Running game edge: Texas A&M

Wide Receiver

Mike Evans, Texas A&M: 13 catches for 239 yards and 2 TDs
Amari Cooper, Alabama: 4 catches for 38 yards
Buzz: Both teams are absolutely loaded at WR. Mike Evans leads all receivers with 13 catches so far, and he’s joined by Ricky Seals-Jones, Sabian Holmes and Malcome Kennedy. The Tide will feature Amari Cooper, Christion Jones, DeAndrew White and Kevin Norwood, and they need to get the ball to Jones more. Alabama’s receivers are more talented, but TAMU’s will have the bigger height advantage over shorter Alabama corners.
Edge: Alabama

Related: Watch Christion Jones torch Virginia Tech

Offensive Line

Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama
Buzz: The big uglies rarely get the attention they deserve. Texas A&M’s O-line is one of the top in the country. The Aggies have allowed just two sacks and are headlined by All-American tackle Jake Matthews and fellow tackle Cedric Ogbuehi. Alabama showed a hint of trouble replacing three All-Americans in the first week, but Kouandjio will anchor this group Saturday.
Edge: Texas A&M

Defensive Line

Ed Stinson, Alabama
DT Kirby Ennis, Texas A&M
Buzz: Alabama’s D-line is very big, bulky and athletic. Led by Ed Stinson, Jeoffrey Pagan and Brandon Ivory, the Tide aim to keep Manziel from running wild. Meanwhile, Texas A&M features DT Kirby Ennis, but it’s still unclear whether sophomore end Julien Obioha will play due to an injury. This is a porous defensive line through two weeks, and the Aggies have allowed an SEC-worst 273 yards per game on the ground.
Edge: Alabama

Linebackers

CJ Mosley, Alabama
Steven Jenkins, Texas A&M
Buzz: Alabama features a nasty linebacking corps with CJ Mosley, Adrian Hubbard and Trey DePriest, and Mosley will be the best linebacker on the field. Meanwhile, the Aggies get linebacker Steven Jenkins back from suspension to combine with Donnie Baggs and Tommy Sanders. The Tide have a big edge here.
Edge: Alabama

Secondary

S HaHa Clinton-Dix, Alabama
CB De’Vante Harris, Texas A&M
Buzz: Alabama’s weakest position group is the secondary. Corners Deion Belue, Geno Smith and John Fulton are susceptible through the air, but safeties Vinnie Sunseri and Clinton-Dix are very good players. TAMU gets back corner De’Vante Harris, but they lose Floyd Raven, who is key, Saturday due to an injury.
Edge: Alabama

Photo Credit: Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE

COMMENTS

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  • WR Edge: Alabama. bwahahaaa

    • Still think Amari Cooper is the best WR in the country. Mike Evans may be a close second.

      • I think WR edge goes to Bama, but overall receiving core should go to A&M. Like you’ve got the running game

        • Care to elaborate? It no secret bama is stacked at WR. Cooper, White, Bell, Norwood, Black, and a handful of highly recruited freshmen. Im curious to know why one would assume TAM is deeper at that position especially after losing Swope.

        • Hold on hotshot……
          Mike Evans 6′ 5 225
          Ricky Seals-Jones 6′ 5″ 240
          Ja’Quay Williams 6′ 3″ 210
          Malcome Kennedy 6′ 1″ 200
          These arejust a few of the reasons TAMU has a better WR corps; not just now but for the next few years. RSJones is 5star fresh, 1st catch = 71yd TD
          Ryan Swope was great but this WR corps much, much better.
          Not brag, just fact.

        • heres the problem with all of your rationales – it isnt good receiving corp against good receiving corp – its Aggie receivers against Bama DBs – Bama D was suspect in their only game so far and they had only one game to help consolidate – Advantage A&M – obversely its a very good Bama receiving corp against the better part of A&Ms defense – with McCarron in the mix, i dont know who has the advantage – it should be a good game either way – GigEm Aggies! BTHO Bama!

  • what about special teams? I think that will determine the winner

    • Well, there is still not enough information to judge accurately with special teams play. A&M and Alabama have both punted well. Both kickers haven’t been challenged in pressure situations. Because of Alabama’s depth, their coverage teams are loaded with talent. So as far as an advantage goes, it’s probably pretty even. But it could very well play a major roll in this game.

    • TAMU has a great punter but a terribly inconsistent PK (misses PATs regularly). Would have to give ST edge to Bama.
      Here is some real wisdom though:
      The team that scores the most points will win.

      TAMU offense is MUCH better than last year.
      Bama defense is not as good as last year.
      TAMU will score many more than 29 points this time.

      Come and GET YA’ SOME!!!!!!!

      • You came to the conclusion that Alabama’s defense isn’t as good as last year because of one game? Or because they lost players to the draft? The talent is still there. A&M’s defense doesn’t have too much to brag about either. The Aggies got the benefit of the “perfect storm” last year. A tipped pass resulted in an INT, and Yeldon’s fumble took likely points off the board for Bama. I understand being excited for the game. But last year was an upset. If A&M wins again, it will still be an upset. Alabama is the better team, and for that, you should be a little worried. I expect an improved Alabama team will take the field on Saturday, run a balanced offensive attack, and play as close-to-sound defense as you can play against an unpredictable QB. However this time around, Alabama will be imposing their will in the 2nd half, instead of playing catch-up like last year. Alabama will control the lines of scrimmage in this game, and that will be the difference.

        • Bama’s secondary is not as good as it was last year; TAMU’s offense much better than it was. No doubt Ag’s defense sucks, Bama should be able to score 30-40 pts on them. I just think, hope, Ags will score more than that. JFF is NOT lucky; my God, he was the SEC’s leading rusher!! Thats not one game, that’s all season!! The boy can drop a ball on fingertips anytime he wants. Go look at what he did in high school, he’s flat out crazy good; and hes got 6-4″, 6-4″, 6′-5″ freaks at WR this year.
          Don’t be shocked if the “it” factor is Kyle Field and the 12th man.
          Ags 42- 38

        • “…tipped pass…” – who do you think tipped it? A&M Defense! “…Yeldons fumble…” – who stuck their helmet into his breadbasket – A&M Defense! you got “Rolled Tide! Rolled!” – heres a good saying you can start practicing for next year – “you cant beat Saban three years in a row” – if hes even there – t.u. is opening their checkbook already

      • Im not saying that Im the one who knows about each teams special teams units but I do agree, whoever wins the special teams battle will win the game. I dont know enough about either teams ST to give the advantage one way or another

        • I just think its interesting that you feel that Alabama will score 40+ points on your own team. Like I said before, Alabama will control the lines of scrimmage and win, leaving no doubt. Alabama may have lost a number of defensive stars to the NFL, but this year’s defense is significantly faster, and that will help in corralling ol’ Johnny. Just remember, Alabama out scored A&M 24-9 after the surprising 1st quarter. A&M won’t get a head start this time around. There are too many things that have to go right for A&M to win.

        • “Just remember, Alabama out scored A&M 24-9 after the surprising 1st quarter.”

          Capstone, I hear and read this all of the time from Bammers and it’s just stupid. A&M outscored Bama 20-0 in the 1st quarter. Bama outscored A&M 17-0 in the 2nd and 3rd quarters. A&M outscored Bama 9-7 in the 4th quarter. If Bama would’ve won the 4th quarter, they would’ve won the game. The way you’ve twisted a defeat into a victory after the fact makes me wonder if you think Lee won at Gettysburg. After all, Lee was one Pickett’s Charge from victory.

          Add in the missed FG (+3), missed PAT (+1), going for it on 4th and long in FG range because Sumlin wasn’t confident in the kicker (+3), going for 2 to make up for the missed PAT (+1), and you can add another 8 points to A&M’s score, which means A&M wins 37-24. That’s just as stupid as the Bama revisionism.

          The 2012 Bama team was great. It was the best in the nation overall. However, Bama wasn’t the best team 11.10.12. Face it. Your team got outcoached and outplayed.

          Are you favored this year? Sure. Do you have better overall athletic talent? Absolutely. Should you win? Yup. Will you win? On paper, Bama is the better team, but the game’s not played on paper.

          Personally, I don’t think A&M should be able to stop Alabama, but I didn’t think they would be able to stop Alabama last year. Mark Snyder proved himself better than Doug Nussmeier last year. On Saturday, we’ll find out just how good Snyder is. He’s an exceptional coach with an average or below average defense going up against an average coach with an exceptional offense.

          On the other side of the ball, there’s no way Alabama can hang with A&M. The differential between our receivers and your corners is too great. Our O-Line is too good. You play disciplined D and JFF will pick you apart. If discipline breaks down, he’ll gash you. Our backfield is waaaay better than last year. Our receivers, assuming RSJ is healthy, are also better than last year, bigger, and faster. Evans played hurt last year. He’s healthy now. Plus, we’ve got 6’6″ Cam Clear at TE.

        • I think its funny that A&M has all these big numbers at every position, but who have they played? Rice? SHS? And Alabama has only played one game, against a team and defense that should be ranked top 20? SMH Texas fans just don’t get that you can put up big # effortlessly against nobody teams. Well, lets just see if the Aggies can hang in with the big boys. Roll Damn Tide.

  • TAMU is in for a long game. Saban was testing his line in the W.V. game. If you watched the game close, when Wv loaded the box A.J. didn’t audible out of the play. Bama was winning and Saban used this to school his new line IMO. BAMA will hang 400 on the ground and 200 in the air in this beat down. Rama Jamma

  • I’ll take 110 yards against Virginia Tech’s defense over 500 against Rice and SH State any day.

  • I’m kinda torn here…it’s like I want both Bama and JFF to fail….hmmm any chance aTm wins after Johnny gets picked 3 times, crushed, and benched? One can dream can’t he? Haha