The CBS SEC Game of the Week features the Texas A&M Aggies and Alabama Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa in Week 2 of the SEC schedule. Alabama got off to a quick start last week, as they took a 28-3 lead into the break against the Missouri Tigers on the road. Mac Jones looked comfortable and connected with Jaylen Waddle early and often.
Henry Ruggs exits for the NFL and Waddle, who may even be better than Ruggs, enters and the Alabama offense doesn’t miss a beat. Jones completed 18 for 24 passes for 249 yards and 2 touchdowns. Waddle led all receivers with 134 yards and 2 scores.
It could have been a much bigger win for Alabama if they kept their foot on the pedal. They spent the second-half going through the motions and rolled through backups on offense and defense. Quarterback Bryce Jones, who is being hyped up as the next Tua, got some experience in the second-half.
The game was well out of reach for Mizzou at that point, so Nick Saban called off the dogs and went with the second-team. If Saban wanted to, they could have easily won by more and covered the spread. With Jones and the offense in perfect sync and a big lead, there wasn’t much reason to risk an injury by keeping him out there.
Texas A&M got off to a slow start against the Vanderbilt Commodores last week. They emerged with a 17-12 win at home. Texas A&M had a major lookahead spot in their first week. How excited were the Aggies to play Vanderbilt? Probably not too ecstatic with Alabama up next on the schedule.
That’s the most important thing for Saban and Alabama. They can’t use the Aggies’ effort last week as a barometer. Texas A&M likely held off showing a lot on that film, so Alabama can’t go into Saturday basing this week off that sloppy effort.
To pull off the straight up upset, Kellen Mond is going to need some help from his receivers. He’s a good quarterback, but had some of his receivers opt out this season. Mond isn’t working with a full complement of options in 2020. No Jhamon Ausbon on the field hurts the offense.
The Aggiest also suffered a critical opt out on the defensive side with linebacker Anthony Hines. That said, the Aggies still have a reliable defense that could make some plays in this ball game. That’s going to be the key for Texas A&M in Tuscaloosa. Head below for our free Texas A&M vs. Alabama pick for October 3, 2020.
Texas A&M Aggies vs. Alabama Crimson Tide NCAAF Betting Odds:
Texas A&M vs. Alabama Prediction:
For Texas A&M to have a chance in this one, they’re going to have to play the ball possession game and hope for an opportunity to strike in the fourth quarter. The Aggies don’t have the weapons on offense to get into a toe-to-toe shootout with the Crimson Tide.
Kellen Mond having to force the issue and take chances will not end up well for Texas A&M. He passed for 189 yards with a touchdown last week against Vanderbilt. Again, the Aggies didn’t do anything to show their hand with Alabama on the schedule a week later, but the lack of playmakers for Mond in the passing game is concerning.
The Aggies relied on the backfield with Isaiah Spiller and Ainias Smith running the back. Spiller was the home run hitter for the offense, as he carried the ball 8 times for 117 yards on 14.6 yards per carry. Smith gained 51 yards on 10 carries for 5.1 yards per game.
They need to show up big in Tuscaloosa. If the run game fails early, this is where the Crimson Tide can turn this game into a blowout. Larry Roundtree of Missouri found some success on the ground last week, having rushed for 67 yards on 14 carries for 4.8 yards per carry.
Back home against a better opponent, expect the Alabama defense to be a little more amped up for this contest, though. And when Mond has to look deep downfield, there likely isn’t going to be anything available. Ausbon could have changed the dynamic of this game, but he decided to opt out.
Defensively, the Aggies are going to make some plays in this game. It’s not going to be as easy for Mac Jones as it was in Missouri. That said, it is extremely hard to keep up with the weapons that the Crimson Tide employ for four quarters. Najee Harris, Jaylen Waddle, and Devonta Smith pose a big challenge for the Aggies on the road.
What I see happening is Texas A&M keeping this game close early through the first quarter. Although, look for too many stalled drives by Mond and the Aggies to come back to hurt their defense. They have to give their defense a breather, which I don’t see happening. Look for Alabama to pull away for a 41-21 or 38-17 win on Saturday afternoon in Tuscaloosa.