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:
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
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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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Photo Credit: Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE