The Associated Press (AP)- No. 1 Alabama (1-0) at No. 6 Texas A&M (2-0), 2:40 p.m. (CBS)
Line: Alabama by 7 ½.
Series record: Alabama 3-2.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
This is the first game of the season with true national championship implications. Alabama is looking forward to the rematch after the Aggies handed the Crimson Tide its only loss in last year’s national championship season. The Aggies are out to prove that last year’s game, which helped Johnny Manziel become the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, wasn’t a fluke.
Manziel and A&M’s up-tempo offense vs. the Alabama defense. Alabama coach Nick Saban has complained about up-tempo offenses like the one Texas A&M uses. That doesn’t matter to A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, who laughed and said: “we’re going to go as fast as we possibly can,” when asked about it. Manziel threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 92 more to help A&M to the 29-24 victory in Tuscaloosa last year, and will likely need a similar performance Saturday.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Alabama: WR/KR/PR Christion Jones. Jones earned SEC special teams player of the week honors in Week 1 after a 72-yard punt return for a touchdown and a 94-yard kickoff return for another score in Alabama’s opener. He also had 47 yards receiving with a third score to finish with 256 all-purpose yards.
Texas A&M: CB Deshazor Everett. Saturday will be Everett’s first full game after he sat out the first half of Texas A&M’s opener serving a suspension for violating team rules before drawing his targeting penalty and another suspension in the second half against Rice. He intercepted Alabama’s A.J. McCarron near the end zone in the fourth quarter to help secure win by the Aggies last season.
FACTS & FIGURES
Saturday is Alabama’s second trip to College Station and the first since 1988. … Alabama has a 15-game winning streak away from Tuscaloosa, which is the longest active streak in the FBS. They haven’t lost away from home since Nov. 6, 2010 at LSU. … The Aggies have won eight straight games. … Alabama is 41-0 since 2008 when it has fewer turnovers than its opponent. … The Crimson Tide defense has held teams to less than 300 yards of offense in 53 of Saban’s 82 games. … The Aggies are fifth in the country in total offense by averaging 600 yards a game.
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