Mitchell: Why Bama Routs TAMU
Posted Nov 7, 2012

Texas A&M has had a solid inaugural SEC season to this point. And Alabama is going to rout them.

By Russ Mitchell
Follow me @russmitchellcfb

Texas A&M has had a solid inaugural season in the SEC. The Aggies have more than held their own in conference play and represented the SEC well out of conference.

Moreover, TAMU has introduced the world to the electric freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel. Johnny Football leads his team in most offensive categories, and is a chief reason why the Aggies have enjoyed success so far in 2012.

And Bama is going to rout them.

To begin with, if Alabama's defense does one thing well among all else, it's corralling running quarterbacks. Year in and year out, be it Michigan's Denard Robinson, VT's Tyrod Taylor, Florida's Tim Tebow, etc., Bama's defense not only stops them, it usually shuts them down cold. Even in the 2010 loss to Auburn, facing a Tigers team of a generation, Cam Newton ran for only 39 yards on 22 carries.

Now here comes the youthful Johnny Football, traveling into Tuscaloosa, who represents the lion's share of TAMU's offense. Good luck with that.

More importantly, and not unlike Chip Kelly's Oregon team, Kevin Sumlin's high-speed Aggies' offense employs a style of play that unique to the SEC. Calling it a "gimmick" belittles the success both schools have experienced, but it's not something most in the conference see on a regular basis.

To stop this offense, it's certainly important to have talent and speed on defense. But more important is depth – talent and speed with your second and even third string. Teams like Florida and LSU possess this depth, and it's the reason TAMU and even Oregon lose when they face the deeper defenses the SEC has. Once LSU and Florida adjusted to the different pace of football, they virtually shut down the Aggies.

Alabama? The Tide has defensive depth like perhaps no other team in America.

Finally, A&M has managed to slow its turnover rate lately, surrendering the ball only one time in its two blowouts of Auburn and State. However, in its three tight SEC games vs. Florida, at Ole Miss and vs. LSU, the Aggies turned the ball over 11 times, with a -9 turnover margin. Expect to see more of the same on Saturday versus an Alabama team ranked fourth in turnover the nation.

TAMU? The Aggies rank 102 in the nation in turnover margin.

Some are expecting a Bama letdown after the emotional, and fortunate, victory in Tiger Stadium. Those people don't know Nick Saban very well.

The Tide is eager to face this newcomer making waves in the SEC. More importantly, Alabama matches up well in nearly every facet, and they will rout Texas A&M.

Russ Mitchell is the lead SEC columnist for CFN. Follow him @russmitchellcfb

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