Ten Things to Know - A&M vs. Alabama

Ten Things to Know - A&M vs. Alabama

The Texas Aggie football team travels to Bryant-Denny Stadium for the first time in program history as they try to knock off the No. 1 team in the nation, the Crimson Tide of Alabama. Here are ten thing you need to know heading into this important contest.

The Texas Aggie football team travels to Bryant-Denny Stadium for the first time in program history as they try to knock off the No. 1 team in the nation, the Crimson Tide of Alabama. Here are ten thing you need to know heading into this important contest.


1. Alabama head coach Nick Saban is in his seventh season in Tuscaloosa. In that time his record is 59-12 with one SEC conference championship and two national championships. With his one national championship at LSU, he's the only active coach to win three BCS national championships.

2. The Aggies will be making their first appearance on the SEC game of week on CBS at the 2:30 PM time slot. This will also mark Texas A&M's first time on CBS since the 1998 Cotton Bowl versus UCLA (Bruins won 29-23). This will mark the Aggies' fourth true national broadcast on 2012 which is the most in any season in the program's history.

3. The match-up on Saturday will be Texas A&M's 12th all-time meeting against the nation's No. 1 team. The Aggies are 1-10 in those games with the only win coming at Kyle Field against Oklahoma in 2002 with a 30-26 victory.

4. Alabama holds a 3-1 in the series. The Crimson Tide and Aggies have met twice in the Cotton Bowl with A&M's only win coming in 1968 when a young Gene Stallings defeated his former coach and mentor Bear Bryant 20-16. Stallings went on to coach Alabama from 1990-1996 and won a national championship. The two teams met twice in the 1980's, with Alabama winning 23-10 in Birmingham and in College Station 30-10 in the infamous Hurricane Bowl.

5. Something has to give as the SEC's No. 1 defense (Alabama – 229 yds/gm) faces the SEC's No. 1 offense (A&M – 560 yds/gm). The Crimson Tide defense gives up on average 9.1 points a game compared to A&M's offense averaging 44.7 points per contest.

6. While Alabama's passing game ranks just No. 80 in total yardage, their pass efficiency ranks No. 1 in the country. That means they may not throw it as much as teams like Texas A&M, but they are effective when they do throw the ball. A.J. McCarron has not thrown an interception and he averages a whopping 9.5 yards per attempt (A&M averages 7.99 yds/att). Alabama has thrown 20 TD's in just 211 passes compared to 17 TD's in 347 throws for A&M. That can be attributed to big plays from play action fakes that result in an effective physical running game.

7. Alabama's defense is ranked in the Top 5 nationally in numerous categories including scoring defense (1), total defense (2), rushing defense (2), passing efficiency defense (5), and turnover margin (4).

8. Despite Alabama's lofty national rankings on defense, the secondary has surrendered over 500 yards (MSU – 209 yds, LSU – 296 yds) through the air and a 61% completion percentage. MSU ranks No. 62 in pass offense and LSU ranks No. 98. By contrast, Texas A&M ranks No. 19 in passing.

9. Alabama will honor before the game 23 men who played and coached for the legendary Paul "Bear" Bryant including members from the Junction Boys. Among those expected in attendance include Gene Stallings, Bryant's only Heisman Trophy winner John David Crow, Dee Powell, and Dennis Goehring to name a few. Other festivities are scheduled to honor these A&M players under Bryant.

10. If Texas A&M wins on Saturday, that will mark a perfect 6-0 record on the road, something no other Aggie team has accomplished. In five road games so far, the Aggies have scored 238 points (47.6/gm) and have given up just 121 points (24.2/gm). The win will also assure A&M of a winning conference record in its inaugural SEC season.

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