Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#387 Alabama vs.
#388 Texas A&M
Saturday, October 9, 2021 at 8:00pm EDT
Written by Jordy

The Texas A&M Aggies could be on the verge of a third straight loss if they’re unable to knock off the No. 1-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday. After falling to Arkansas, they failed to eke out a win over Mississippi State. Now, they’ll play host at College Station against an Alabama team that trampled all over the Ole Miss Rebels last weekend. The Crimson Tide rolled to a 41-0 victory when these two teams last faced off in Tuscaloosa last season.

Grab your popcorn, football fans

Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin’s “grab your popcorn” moment lasted about as long as Facebook on a Monday. Ultimately, the Crimson Tide came rolling in and beat an apology out of him with a 42-21 blowout victory.

If anything, that served as a reminder that this Alabama team isn’t anything to be trifled with this season. They may not have the big names from a year ago, but quarterback Bryce Young is the real deal and new stars are being made before our very eyes.

In other words, it’s business as usual for coach Nick Saban.

Texas A&M is a team making mistakes at every turn. They can’t protect their quarterback, and they’ve thrown as many interceptions as touchdowns this season. It’s a disaster waiting to happen sort of situation going on right now within that program that should have good old Saint Nick grinning from ear to ear.

Alabama is one of the top teams in the conference in turnover margin, which is everything you’d expect from a well-coached football team. Young has thrown for 1,365 passing yards, 17 touchdowns and only two interceptions in his first year as a starter. And the defense is making big plays when it matters.

Granted, it won’t all be sugar and rainbows against the Aggies. Their defensive front can generate pressure, and their secondary is only allowing an average of 177.2 passing yards per game.

But Alabama running back Brian Robinson Jr. is coming off his biggest game of the season—171 rushing yards and four touchdowns. If the senior finds his legs, it’s going to be big problems for the Aggies on Saturday.

The Crimson Tide recently lost running back Jase MccLellan for the season with a knee injury, and linebacker Drew Sanders has also been listed as doubtful to play against Texas A&M.

Will Fisher’s words come back to haunt him?

Don’t think for one second Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide have forgotten about Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher’s bombastic comments back in May.

“We’re going to beat [Saban’s] ass when he’s there,” said Fisher, via the Houston Chronicle’s Brent Zwerneman.

Well, Saban and the Crimson Tide will be there at College Station on Saturday for Fisher and the Aggies to do what it is they plan on doing.

For any plan to work, however, they need to do a better job of taking care of the football first. They’re playing hot potato with nine total lost turnovers this season. There’s no quicker way to a blowout than handing the ball to a Saban-coached team for extra possessions.

They’ll make you pay every time.

Quarterback Zach Calzada doesn’t need to be perfect, but he does need to be efficient. That could be something as simple as opting to throw the ball away rather than taking a big sack or throwing into coverage. The Alabama defense isn’t giving up a lot of big plays, and the Aggies aren’t making a lot of them.

They need junior running back Isaiah Spiller to have a strong night on the ground, but in order to do that, the offensive line must play better. Spiller is a dynamic playmaker with the ball in his hands, which has led to him carrying for 445 rushing yards and two touchdowns with 6.5 yards per carry. He’s a threat to Alabama’s defensive front.

And while Brian Robinson Jr. has seemingly found his stride running the football for the Crimson Tide’s offense, he’s also been dealing with a lingering rib injury. With Jase McClellan going down with a knee injury, that offensive backfield is on life support. If Texas A&M’s defensive front can put some pressure on Bryce Young and Robinson runs out of gas, things could get interesting at College Station this weekend.

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Like Lane Kiffin, Jimbo Fisher will be eating his words by the end of Saturday’s game.

Isn’t this the same Texas A&M team that barely beat Colorado? They make too many mistakes to trust against a Nick Saban-coached defense. Zach Calzada will play tight to avoid making the backbreaking mistakes that could sink the Aggies’ ship early, but that will only have the team spinning in circles while the Crimson Tide pile on the scoreboard.

So much is dependent on Isaiah Spiller and the ground game for Texas A&M to be successful in this matchup. That’s a problem considering all of the holes the team has on the offensive front. Alabama will bully them in the trenches by shutting down the run game and forcing Calzada to win with his arm. It’s a recipe for disaster for an Aggies team already coming off back-to-back losses.

Sure, the Aggies’ defense is actually a solid unit, but they haven’t faced an offense anywhere near the talent level as this Alabama team they’ll see on Saturday. Bryce Young is slippery in the pocket and he’s hitting receivers in stride downfield like he’s been starting at this level for years. If you’re not an Alabama fan, it’s your worst nightmare.

It’ll be Fisher’s worst nightmare on Saturday when the Tide rolls to another blowout. I’m laying the points.

Prediction: Alabama Crimson Tide (-17.5)

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The floodgates are going to open up a bit on the Aggies for the first time this season. It shouldn’t come as a surprise considering this is the first elite offensive team they’ve faced so far. The Crimson Tide lead the entire SEC in scoring offense right now with the team averaging 45.6 points per game.

Texas A&M has stood their ground defensively in recent outings, but Alabama quarterback Bryce Young puts tremendous stress on opposing defenses with his ability to make big throws and extend drives with his legs. And you can always count on the Aggies offense to cough up turnovers that lead to free points. Give me the over in this one.

Prediction: Over (51)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast, and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY, and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys, and all the Sun Drop you can drink.