Alabama 2015 Common Opponents Preview: Texas A&M


Well if you’ve been paying attention you’ll know that we’ve covered Alabama’s two worst performances from last year in regards to teams they play in 2015. Now it’s time to have some fun! We’ve gotten through Ole Miss and Arkansas (you can check those out here: Arkansas Common Opponent Preview/Ole Miss Common Opponent Preview); it’s now time for Alabama’s third carryover game in 2015, the Texas A&M Aggies!
2014 Recap:
The Texas A&M Aggies visited Tuscaloosa on October 18th of 2014 and I can assure you it’s a trip they wish they would have never made. The Crimson Tide beat the Aggies 59-0 in the first Johnny Manziel-less matchup of the A&M SEC era. The 59-0 victory was Alabama’s biggest last season on a schedule that included Florida Atlantic, Southern Miss and Western Carolina. Oh yeah to make it even sweeter; A&M beat Auburn in Auburn (hahahahaha)! At the time A&M was ranked 21st in the country and Kenny (Thrill/Trill/whatever else people called him) Hill was still a legitimate Heisman candidate. Not only did he fall out of the Heisman race after this, he never threw another pass in an A&M uniform (he now plays at TCU). Seriously that was such a weird phenomenon, almost like Linsanity in the NBA a couple of years ago.
Will Jacob Coker get the start this time around against A&M?
Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
Alabama was coming off back to back tough performances in a loss at Ole Miss and a close call in Arkansas. To say the Tide rebounded nicely would be the understatement of the year; Alabama came out and lit the scoreboard up for 45 first half points. It all happened so fast I remember looking up at the scoreboard and thinking there was an error, because there was no way we were already up 38-0. There wasn’t, and Alabama added 3 more touchdowns for good measure while not allowing the Aggies to score any.
Is there anything better than putting a FCS level beatdown on a conference opponent? I think not. This was probably Alabama’s most complete game of the season as the Tide put up 602 yards of offense while only allowing 172. Alabama scored on their first 8 possessions; the first a field goal then seven straight touchdowns. Amari Cooper had an eight catch 140 yard day with two touchdowns. TJ Yeldon had 114 yards on 13 carries with a pair of touchdowns as well. Other than that there weren’t too many gaudy player stats; mainly because the starters exited at the half.
2015 Look Ahead:
Something tells me this game will probably be a little different than last year. I’m pretty sure the outcome won’t change but I think the score changing is a pretty safe bet. The Tide will have to travel to Kyle Field this year on October 17th; as with the Arkansas game, there is no set time for this game yet. Alabama travels to A&M after a home game against Arkansas while Texas A&M (again, like everyone else) will be coming off a bye.
I don’t think this game will have near the hype of 2013 when Alabama traveled to College Station; gone are the days of Johnny Manziel performing Christmas miracles on the field. Which I’m sure is very disappointing to the all dude cheerleading squad.
Key Losses/Returnees for Texas A&M:
John Chavis will be the new Aggie Defensive Coordinator tasked with stopping Kiffin’s offense in 2015. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
As I mentioned earlier Alabama will have to face a different quarterback when they face the Aggies this year. That quarterback is Kyle Allen who started the final 5 games for A&M in 2014; going 3-2. A&M doesn’t lose a lot in 2015 aside from draftees Cedric Ogbuehi (OT) and Jarvis Harrison (OT). They return a quarterback with a lot of good experience and most of their skill position guys. The biggest offseason pick up for the Aggies was probably the arrival of defensive coordinator John Chavis from LSU. Superfreak Myles Garrett is back on the defensive side of the ball, but aside from that there isn’t too much for Chavis to work with. I’m sure they’ll have some pretty neat cheers though!
Although there isn’t much of a sample size, Alabama has the historical edge in this series as well. The Crimson Tide are 5-2 all time against Texas A&M, but we’ve never actually beaten them (Texas A&M doesn’t lose games, they simply run out of time. This is a real thing that they abide by in AggieLand).
We could still be playing last year’s game and A&M wouldn’t have scored yet.
Roll Tide and check back later this week for the next victim in our common opponent previews; Tennessee!

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