Robert Sellers, publisher of Aggie Digest http://www.scout.com/college/texas-am, and BamaMag.com have exchanged questions and answers regarding Saturday’s game as No. 1 Alabama hosts No. 6 Texas A&M at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Kickoff is at 2:30 p.m. CDT with CBS televising.
Here are our questions and the answers from the Aggies camp:
1. Alabama and Texas A&M seem to be somewhat mirror images of one another with explosive offense and dynamic defense. Is there one position where either the Tide or the Aggies seem to have an advantage?
That is a pretty tough one to outright call in either favor, but I feel Alabama has an edge or two before A&M does. For the sake of discussion I think the only positions I would feel comfortable saying A&M could get an edge on are defensive ends and receivers. Obviously, Alabama’s tackles and defensive backs are no slouch so even then I think it is hard to outright give them any edge but these are the two spots A&M matches up best. Despite improvement by Aggie offensive line coach Jim Turner in the line’s performance in his first year back, I still think Alabama holds the edge with their defensive line over his group.
2. With Alabama and Texas A&M both scoring a lot of points and being strong in scoring defense, what kind of game are you expecting?
I think it will be a low scoring affair early on while the two teams feel each other out but I expect the scoring on both sides of the ball to pick up as the game goes on, mostly in the second half.
3. Two quarterbacks firmly in the Alabama memory bank are Johnny Manziel and Trevor Knight, both of whom had dominating wins over Bama. Johnny Football was a thrill a second, but is the steady Knight more valuable to Texas A&M team success?
In 2016 a very steady Knight could be more valuable than any other position for the Aggies. As everyone remembers, turnovers at the quarterback position was a huge liability in 2015. For the Aggies to have success in each game this season, they need Knight to not necessarily win the game for them but to not lose it. A steady consistent Knight who protects the football is the most valuable thing for the Aggies.
4. Most Alabama supporters feel something of a kinship with Texas A&M because of the connections of Paul Bryant, Gene Stallings, Jackie Sherrill, and John David Crow. Do Aggies have that feeling?
I don’t get the sense that the Aggies reciprocate that closeness but not in a bad way. The fans, much like most of those not named Auburn, have a healthy respect for Alabama. I feel they know that success is possible but it must come through Alabama to get there.
5. Not related to this game, but are Texas A&M fans chortling at not being a part of the Big XII these days?
Well I have the unique task of covering both Texas A&M and Houston which provides me a clear picture of a team begging to get into the Big12 and one that couldn’t be happier to have left. I imagine the Texas vs Texas A&M rivalry is similar to Auburn and Alabama’s so there has been plenty of amusement by the A&M fan base from the Big12 as of late.