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Jumbo Package: Nobody’s Giving the Aggies a Chance

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Saban would greatly appreciate it if someone would predict an upset, aight?

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NCAA Football: Alabama at Vanderbilt Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, everyone. The Tide head out to College Station tomorrow night, and we will start with the previews as usual:

Baby: That's the question two SEC teams have failed to answer so far this season. A&M needs to find a way to run the ball against an Alabama defense is 11th in the country in yards allowed per rush and second in fewest rushing yards allowed. That's going to be a big problem for the Aggies, especially with a relatively young offensive line. A&M will also need to avoid getting gashed for big plays in the passing game, something that's been an issue at times this season.

Senior cornerback Levi Wallace, who is a native of Tucson, Ariz., heard of Kirk when he was five-star prospect at Saguaro (Ariz.) High School in Scottsdale. Even then as the nation’s No. 26 overall player, Kirk was known as an explosive player, Wallace said.

And that hasn’t changed five games into his junior season.

Christian Kirk is maybe the most explosive player -- returner, receiver, runner -- of anybody in our league,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said Monday in his opening statement.

Typically, I wouldn’t pay much attention to against-the-spread numbers, but there’s something disturbing about Kevin Sumlin’s team at home. Since 2012, the Aggies have been 1-4 against the spread as a home underdog (sixth-worst in the country). Since 2014, they have been 6-14 against the spread as a home favorite (12th-worst in the country).

Kyle Field and the trademarked “12th Man” have been much friendlier to opponents than Texas A&M. Add to that the fact that the current version of Alabama is playing at historically great levels and you’ve got a blowout on your hands. The pick: Alabama.

Scarborough: I do. I think the only hope A&M has is if Christian Kirk plays all 11 positions on offense, does his usual thing in the return game and picks off a couple of passes on defense. And that isn't happening. This Alabama team is too focused right now to slip up on the road. I like the Tide to win big.

Mond will look like a deer in the headlights Saturday, and no one should blame him. Nothing can prepare such a young quarterback for one of history's most efficient teams.

The freshman should at least double his turnovers on the year and will find moving the chains difficult. On the other hand, Alabama's balanced offense should eclipse 500 yards en route to another impressive win. This game will be entertaining early, but a few back-breaking plays will blow this game open.

Score: Alabama 48, Texas A&M 9

Whoa. That last link comes from the Dallas Morning News. A score prediction of 48-9 from a local outlet is some seriously good gump.

The Aggies indeed have a freshman QB and have played uneven at best this season, but it’s hard to believe that the Tide hold them under 10 points. Kirk is likely to make some plays to put points on the board, and the defense has shown flashes of brilliance.

That doesn’t mean the game will be close, of course. The spread has crept up to around 26 over the course of the week, with an over/under of 55. Take the easy money on the over and watch the Tide run over another opponent, 51-16.

Of course, that is just my score prediction. Vote and give us yours in the comments.

Saban has to be wringing his hands a bit with all of the hype the team continues to get in the media:

On the way to a 59-0 rout of Vanderbilt and a 66-3 beatdown of Ole Miss, Alabama put away both teams early, which in turn allowed a slew of freshmen to play.

Fourteen newcomers were deployed by the Tide on offense and defense, and collectively they averaged 31.2 snaps in those two games, according to ProFootballFocus.com.

It’s not entirely inaccurate to describe Alabama’s rushing attack as down right mauling.

The numbers come at you fast and stacked on top of one another it’s a bit dizzying. The Crimson Tide leads the SEC in yards per carry (6.66 yards) and yards per game (315.6) with those total both ranking fourth nationally. The team’s 1,578 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns on the ground are overwhelming to think about. Now envision a defensive coordinator having to scheme a way to slow the rushing game.

Hurts hasn’t put up the big passing numbers, but that might not matter if he continues to add to the number of touchdowns he has engineered. Hurts has scored 10 touchdowns this season to go with 1,208 yards of offense. He hasn’t played in many fourth quarters lately because Alabama has dominated other teams.

Hurts will need to have a signature moment in the coming weeks to thrust himself into the Heisman Trophy conversation.

Fitzpatrick might not like the word “angry” to describe Alabama’s mindset, but it’s certainly not pleasant.

“We’re just trying to get better week to week, doing our job, staying disciplined, executing,” he said. “I wouldn’t consider us angry. Just trying to defeat the other team -- defeat them mentally, physically and moral wise. Just defeating them.”

If the act of demoralizing isn't considered angry, then you might as well call Saban jolly.

Alabama is out for domination, and there's nothing kind or gentle about it.

So, Alabama is flattening everybody while playing more freshmen than any team in the country, and “We want Bama” has become a running joke. Times aren’t exactly tough in Tuscaloosa, folks. Soak it up.

With Daboll spreading things around as much as he is and Tua entering the game in the third quarter regularly, I doubt Jalen’s numbers get him anywhere near New York this season. Something tells me he is just fine with that if he ends the season holding that ugly trophy.

There are reasons to root for these players besides their dominance:

His family bounced around from shelter to shelter before settling in a home in Northern California. Harris would sometimes sleep on the floor so his siblings could sleep on a bed.

The first bed he’s ever had to himself is the one he currently has in his dorm room. The path to becoming the nation’s No. 1 running back in the 2017 class wasn’t always easy for Harris.

“I don’t think anyone in the world understands how hard he worked and how hard he continues to work to get where he is today,” Dudley said of Harris.

If you haven’t seen it, watch the video at this link. This kid has been through the wringer, and has megastardom in his future.

“So, a lot of the fun that we have is sort of, we work together on things. Then in the offseason, we go to our cottage or up to the lake house or whatever. We really do enjoy doing things together there — whether it’s going out to eat. We have a lot of good friends that we spend a lot time with. We take walks, we go for boat rides. Ray-Ray likes to go for boat rides. Everybody kind of just lays back and enjoys themselves. We really have a lot of fun being together. I think we kind of learned through the years that that together kind of changes with the calendar based on what else is happening.”

What’s the old saying? Behind every good man, there’s a great woman? God bless Miss Terry.

That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.

Roll Tide.

Poll

What will be Saturday’s result?

This poll is closed

  • 63%
    Alabama bags the Ags, Tide covers
    (409 votes)
  • 28%
    Ags are game but khakis still get rankled, Tide by 14-26
    (183 votes)
  • 4%
    Ags put up a Texas Fight, Tide by 1-13
    (27 votes)
  • 4%
    Texas A&M upse... LOL
    (26 votes)
645 votes total Vote Now