It's hard not to be impressed with Alabama after the 49-10 romp of Tennessee in Knoxville. Even the last doubters of the Crimson Tide are going to be arguing with the oddsmakers, who have made Nick Saban's team more than a two-touchdown favorite at home against Texas A&M on Saturday in the SEC on CBS Game of the Week. It's a top-10 matchup of SEC West powers, and yet Alabama's dominance has our friends out in the desert calling for a comfortable victory.
But Alabama has not always been perfect, and Texas A&M is strong enough to think they can be the next team on that short list of victors against a Nick Saban-coached Tide team. On the SEC on CBS Podcast, Gary Danielson reviewed the common misnomers about beating Alabama.
"I think too many people get caught up into how to finesse or how to maneuver Alabama out of the way in order to beat them," Danielson said. "When has Alabama beat themselves? Once? Against Ole Miss? Yes, having a mobile quarterback is OK if you have anything else. It's the icing on the cake. Tennessee showed it last week with Josh Dobbs, icing without any cake is just icing in a bowl, and you're not going to beat Alabama with icing in a bowl. To me, the only way to beat Alabama is to stand there man-to-man and be just as physical as they are."
SEC on CBS lead analyst Gary Danielson thinks Texas A&M can compete with Alabama and hang in the game thanks to a few advantages that include a talented group of wide receivers and a quarterback, Trevor Knight, with a big arm to test the secondary.
"I think Texas A&M is closer than Tennessee," Danielson said of the matchup. "[The Aggies] have a lot of the parts to make it a football game on the offensive and defensive line. They have wide receivers that match up and feel confident against Alabama's man-to-man defense. Alabama's not going to change. They're going to play man-to-man and if you can get open and if you can keep your quarterback on his feet to throw the ball and make a decent throw, you've got a shot to get completions. They do not give you cheap and easy throws. They cover guys short, and they force you to throw down the field or they will gobble you up like they did Tennessee.
"I think another thing they have going for them is that Trevor Knight is a good deep thrower. It's the best part of his passing game. He's a below average short thrower, relatively average middle of the field thrower. He's very competitive, he makes mistakes when throws the ball because he does not give up on plays. But when he's hot, he produces a game like the one he did when he beat Alabama. When he's cold, you question every throw he makes."
Tune into the SEC on CBS Podcast to hear Gary's full breakdown of the game and thoughts on the rest of the Week 8 schedule in the SEC West.