Guess the score to the Alabama @ Texas A&M Game in this week's Prediction Game via Good Bull Hunting
A few crazy predictions so far but most think we get a bunch of points on their D. Just saying, but if we are getting points the way Alabama typically scores TD's, that means Manziel is sitting on the bench an awful lot..
"This week is very important because we get back to what the Alabama offensive line is about and that's being physical and making the defensive line quit," he said. "I think that's what we're going to bring to Texas A&M. "I don't care what anybody else tries to tell you, it's your first game starting and you're going to be nervous. But I think we started to open up a little bit at times. From the first game to the second game, it's going to be a bigger transition."
I think we have all been praying that what we saw against Va Tech was just first game jitters and that very well could be the case. I said this after the game but perhaps the a$$ whooping they (the OL) received in their very first game was exactly what the team needed.
Hope for the best, right?
"We don't buy into the hype here a lot," sophomore receiver Amari Cooper said Monday to kick off the most-anticipated week of the year in college football. "I think all the hype is really irrelevant because at the end of the day you have to go play the game. The hype isn't real. The things they say on TV and stuff like that, it doesn't line up with what's really going on."
The players seem to be saying all the right things but how much of that is them being truly honest? I know 'Bama fans want blood but has that trickled down into the players? How could they not want revenge after last year?
The Texas A&M defense showed some weaknesses, allowing 31 points to Rice in the season opener and 28 to Sam Houston State. The Aggies were without defensive end Julien Obioha in the last game due to an undisclosed injury, and cornerback Deshazor Everett was suspended for the first half for a targeting penalty in the opener. Defensive end Gavin Standbury, linebacker Steven Jenkins and cornerback De’Vante Harris were suspended the first two games for violating team rules. Coach Kevin Sumlin said the suspended players will return for the Alabama game and help the defense add flavor from being vanilla in its approach.
I'll say it again, forget what you've seen from A&M on defense through their 1st two games. They went vanilla and for good reason. Sure, the amount of rushing yards allowed should be a concern for A&M fans but I expect a completely different game plan for Alabama..(duh)
“I think if you’re focused and disciplined, that’s the way you need to approach the game so that you can do your job. People that get emotional sometimes don’t make the best decisions. We need to make good decisions in this game so that we put ourselves in the best position to have a chance to be successful against very good players.”
Fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals..A&M is at their best when they force teams to lose contain, leave their zone, lose gap assignment and forget to their job. If we play sound, fundamental football on Saturday we have more than a fighting chance.
Even quarterback AJ McCarron, who swatted away external clutter left and right during his interview session, has noticed it and seen how it's affected the group. The effect, he said, has been positive. "They're playing with a chip on their shoulder," McCarron said. "Everybody hears everybody talking. We don't need to pay attention to it, but you're still going to hear it. I feel like they came out this past week and really improved, did a great job communicating.
I really hope this isn't just coach speak from AJ. As in, I hope the line is playing with an edge — something they lacked against VT. I really felt from watching film that 80%+ of the offensive line issues resulted from poor communication and that is something that will only come with more reps and playing time.
Cooper vs. Everett - The Crimson Tide's star wide receiver is looking to bounce back after a season-opening performance that saw him largely bottled up by Virginia Tech's Kyle Fuller. He was certainly successful against the Aggies last year, hauling in six passes for 136 yards and a touchdown. A better Cooper makes everything better for the Crimson Tide's other receivers.
Christion Jones may have had a great game against Va Tech but our passing game revolves around Cooper. He must force A&M to double cover him, allowing for single coverage on Jones, Norwood, Bell, etc. (this will also open up running lanes for our running backs).
If he (Cooper) can do that and Bama can churn out running yards, that means the offense is stringing together some long drives, all the while keeping Manziel on the bench.
“It’s easier said than done,” junior safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix said of stopping Manziel. “He can extend plays, and once he gets out of the pocket, he can run, he can run the other way then throw the ball 20 yards downfield. You have to keep him in the pocket.” Manziel ran for 92 yards against the Crimson Tide in 2012, but it was his 253 yards passing and two touchdowns that made the difference in the game.
Back to my point about fundamentals. With Tomlinson out for the year we are now down to three true freshman as backups at DE. LaMichael Fanning is back on the defensive side of the ball and should provide some quality depth there but the rest are green. The fear with playing so many young players against a guy like Manziel is they are more likely to make mental errors. The defensive line must stay in their lanes and force Manziel to beat us with his arm.