How Alabama’s football defense matches Texas A&M
Alabama’s defense is starting to solidify at the right time as we approach the middle of the season. After the first few weeks of having ‘tin horns’ it was refreshing to watch the defense behave the way they did in Saturday’s victory over a powerful Ole Miss attack.
Another clash with SEC West is on the horizon as the Crimson Tide travel to College Station to take on Texas A&M on Saturday. Texas A&M are a good team that fell hard on their luck, but will likely fall even harder this weekend.
The Aggies QB situation is in disarray. Young Redshirt Haynes King has been billed as Aggieland’s goose that lays golden eggs, with A&M fans predicting he could lead them to the promised land of CFP.
And then came a broken ankle against Colorado, which he isn’t expected to return until mid-October.
So who holds the reins now at QB for Texas A&M?
None other than the man King beat, Zach Calzada. Needless to say, that doesn’t look good for Texas A&M at this point in the QB position. However, not all of the Aggies’ offensive shortcomings are Calzada’s fault. He operates behind a makeshift offensive line that includes two real newcomers due to injuries and four inexperienced newcomers from the SEC.
However, Calzada is not immune to criticism. When he has time, he is impatient. He does not take time on his readings and acts on impulse. That wanton nature led to four interceptions while only finding the end zone for five touchdown passes. It is not a specific pass in any sense of the word.
Unfortunately for Texas A&M, her 60% completion percentage against Miss. State was his peak of the season. Not a good number by any stretch of the imagination.
Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher said Calzada continued to improve, showing great confidence in his reshirt-sophomore QB who was beaten in the preseason by his young peer.
In WR, the QB Aggie’s favorite this season was junior wide receiver Ainias Smith, who caught 20 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns.
The Aggies’ main reading on passing was Chase Lane, who led the team in yards by catch last season. He’s only managed nine catches for 104 yards this year.
Jalen Wydermyer at TE has proven to be an effective option on transmissions. He had 15 receptions for 176 yards and a touchdown.
Caleb Chapman and Demond Demas are Calzada’s other options as wide receiver. They have yet to prove to be elite receivers, and it’s hard to imagine that an Aggie WR will have an outstanding performance against an experienced Tide secondary.
The only solid piece Texas A&M has offensively is Isaiah Spiller, the 21st Aggie to rush for 2,000 career yards. Spiller has run for 445 yards on 78 attempts this year, averaging 6.8 YPC. He has touched the end zone twice this season. But he won’t be much of a factor if Fisher doesn’t make him a big part of his game plan on Saturday.
Even if Fisher plays on Alabama’s weak defense – the running game – Texas A&M’s offensive line is unlikely to get a boost.
The Aggies O line plays almost without continuity. From what I’ve seen, they generally don’t move as a cohesive unit. Too often they’ve been pushed this season against seemingly inferior talent.
Aggie’s defense may be the only saving grace Texas A&M can hope for in this No.1-ranked Crimson Tide game, and even then you have to be able to score points to win a football game, and I don’t. ‘I don’t think they’re going to get more than two touchdowns.
Catch the game between Alabama and Texas A&M Saturday at 7:00 p.m. CT on CBS.
Stay tuned to Roll Tide Wire for continued coverage of the Alabama Crimson Tide!