The Bear Bryant Bowl. Texas A&M was expected to struggle, moving from the Big 12 to the SEC. Instead, they have equalled last season’s win total, triumphed four-straight times on the road and progressed far enough in one season where this game against Alabama is relevant. Can they go one step further and pull the upset? It should come down to Johnny Manziel.
The freshman quarterback has been held below six yards per carry twice this year, against LSU and Florida. Those are the two best comps for the Bama defense. This should affect their third-down conversion rate. On the season they rank third nationally, converting 54.3 percent. With Manziel contained, however, the Aggies have converted just 28.6 percent (vs. Florida) and 37.5 percent (vs. LSU).
While discussing Alabama’s defense. It’s worth noting. We did not see vulnerability last week. It’s impossible for a defense to cover everything. Alabama’s game plan against LSU, as it should have been, was to stop the run and make Zach Mettenberger beat them. They did the former, holding LSU’s power attack to 2.8 yards per carry. Mettenberger had the game of his life and nearly did the latter.
Corso called for the upset. We don’t see it. This is a freshman quarterback, going on the road at Alabama. Since 2008: Nick Saban is 31-2 at home. The two losses were by a combined four points, against teams that won the SEC and reached the BCS Title Game.
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