SEC West Upset Special: Texas A&M at Alabama

SEC West Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
SEC West Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) /

In just three short weeks, this SEC West battle not only once again pits pupil verses mentor, but has the making of a true upset almost pulled off two weeks ago at College Station.

Okay, the intriguing battle between Alabama and Ole Miss turned out to be a quick flop from the get go, but this time the SEC West is now officially up for grabs just three weeks into the 2018 campaign.

Jimbo Fisher and the Aggies hit the road for the first time this season, but it could not come at a more opportune time. Texas A&M (2-1) travels to Tuscaloosa for only the fourth time since joining the SEC, but with more at stake than just a win.

Not only does the student once again face the mentor (Nick Saban), but the Aggies once again face a top five team, this time the number one team in the country, the Alabama Crimson Tide, which has shown no mercy defensively.

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Bama has given up only 28 points the first three games of the young 2018 SEC campaign. Texas A&M on the other hand has quietly grown quickly from the depths of inconsistency to a sleeper team in the SEC West despite what was left over from 2017.

Tua vs Mond

Add more intrigue to the so called “Bear Bryant Bowl” (named unofficially by me of course), both quarterbacks for their respected teams are ranked in the top five in passing yards: Mond second with 824 yards and Tua fifth in the SEC with 646.

But it is Tua Tagovailoa with a whopping QBR of 233.3, which ranks him second in the nation behind Boston College quarterback Anthony Brown (240.2). It is not very often you see an Alabama quarterback in the top five of any category, though this has been somewhat of a rarity at the Capstone.

While Mond doesn’t show the numbers, he has proven to lead the Aggies in a comeback as they almost did against Clemson two weeks ago. Whatever Coach Fisher has fed the young sophomore, it is growing on him very quickly in which stats does not need proof at times for a great quarterback battle.

Alabama vs Texas A&M Rushing

This could be the turning point for the Aggies when they hit the field on Saturday afternoon in front of the whole nation. Trayveon Williams has carried the backfield on his shoulders, just one yard shy of 400 as he is in a three-way tie with the most rushing touchdowns in the SEC (four). This believe it or not makes the Bama backfield small and you are about to find out why.

Najee Harris has only rushed for 203 yards and not nowhere near the top ten like you might expect with Bama running backs in recent years, but Damian Harris has helped make up for it with his 178 yards.

Worse come to worst, if the Bama defense can’t slow down Williams, offensive coordinator Mike Locksley will have to use the two-on-one method to counter A&M’s rushing attack. Bama’s other ray of hope is wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, their leading catcher and most likely Tua’s favorite target.

SEC West 2012 Flashback

Now with Fisher in the fold, this officially brings back memories of the unforgettable upset from 2012, where upcoming Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel shocked the college football world knocking off the number one team in the nation in Tuscaloosa. This is also the same year that Texas A&M officially joined the SEC.

If you thought you felt the vibes of upset before in this matchup, this one is being felt like no other due to several key figures at play here. Could this be the day that the student finally beats the teacher?

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If that is the case, the SEC West may never be the same after this contest is over, and the Aggies will continue to rise from the ashes of Kevin Sumlin.