Here is Team Websider's fearless predictions for the Alabama-Birmingham game. Based on the predictions, Team WEbsider believes the Aggies will bounce back with a strong effort on Saturday led by the number one ranked offense.
The Ags rack up 650 yards this week in a match up against the #1 offense in college football and the 118th ranked pass defense (out of 120), giving up 334 yards a game. They have no pass rush and coverage is weak. Thus, it will be a HUGE game for Jerrod Johnson. A&M should be able to run the ball at will. In their first three games, teams have not had to run the ball against UAB, so their 57th rank rushing defense is a little misleading. As one of the UAB faithful posted on their boards this week, " We don't so much have a front 7, but we do seem to have four mobile speed bumps your running backs MIGHT trip over." As for the Aggies on defense, I think they got a heck of a lesson of FINISHING. With A&M up 38-17 in the fourth quarter, the young players thought USU would quit. Wrong. UAB comes in with the #18 rushing offense in the NCAA but only #89 in passing. I watched the UAB/Troy game last weekend and the QB (Joe Webb) is a good athlete. He is a runner, but Troy easily contained him. The Ags show maturity on defense this week and get the win comfortably.
A piecemeal offensive line will for the most part correct its penalties and errors from the last two games against a struggling UAB front seven. A&M should garner over 600 yards of offense and get plenty of reps for most team members including a big day for EZ Nwachukwu in the absence of Jeff Fuller. Defensively, A&M should be able to put pressure on the quarterback and stop the run up front. A continuously improving secondary should give the UAB offense fits.
According to my sources, the Aggies had one of their best weeks of practice and it will show on Saturday. The Aggies roll into Kyle Field with the number one offense in the country but without Jeff Fuller the Ags will look for other receivers to step up in his absence. Uzoma Nwachukwu will step into that leadership role and the A&M receivers will have a big day against one of the worst pass defenses in the country. Jerrod Johnson will have a different O-Line blocking for him again this weekend, but the moves will benefit Johnson and he will continue to put up big numbers. Von Miller and the Aggie defense won't let a 4th quarter meltdown happen again and the maturity of this defense steps up and finishes the game.
The Alabama-Birmingham defense is giving up an average 458 yards a game to the likes of Rice, SMU, and Troy. On Saturday they will face an offense that has gained more yards than any unit in college football. That's a bad, bad combination for the Blazers. The only way A&M's offense doesn't put up 50 points is either turnovers, or a successful UAB running game that milks the clock and keeps Jerrod Johnson and company off the field. I do think the A&M defense will struggle at times to contain star quarterback Joe Webb, but the Blazers have little else in the way of playmakers and the defense will eventually figure it out after giving up a couple of first half scores. Still, the offensive onslaught by the Aggies will dominate this game by the third quarter. Expect to see plenty of production from Uzoma Nwachukwu and Jamie McCoy, and don't be surprised to see little brother Terrence getting some catches with Fuller out of action.
Team Websider's Game Predictions
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