Texas A&M Football vs. Alabama: Aggie Pass Game vs Tide Pass Defense
Now we turn our attention to when the Aggies have the ball. I’ll tell you the truth right now: I would feel far more confident in an Aggie win—heck, I might even be predicting an Aggie blowout victory—were Conner Weigman the man behind center on Saturday. His ability to place the ball in exactly the right spot, come hell or high water, would be a huge boon for the Aggies here.
As it stands, though, the Aggies have Max Johnson. That is not, in any way, an issue, though—Johnson is likely a top-half-of-the-conference quarterback when it comes to his quality. It is simply to state that I think Weigman, when healthy, is hands down the best quarterback in the conference. Johnson has his limitations—the book is out on him, and you have to think that DC Kevin Steele knows it well. I expect Steele to press the Aggie receivers hard off the line and not give anything up short. The Tide have the personnel to execute this strategy against the talented Aggie wideouts, so it could be tough sledding in the underneath passing game going up and down the field. Petrino’s scripting, though, has been really impressive so far this year, so I’ll be excited to see how Johnson comes out of the gate.
In the deep passing game, it’s well known that Max’s best attribute is his deep ball, just like Milroe. There will be more than one called play action deep shot in this game, and I anticipate Max connecting with Stewart, Smith, or Thomas somewhere deep downfield at least once during the course of this game. Such a big play, in what I anticipate to be a defensively-dominated game, will be a huge moment.
All that said, the Tide secondary is formidable. Tide opponents have yet to crack a 40% success rate against Saban and Steele’s unit, and teams have averaged only 75% of their normal success rates through the air against them. The Aggies haven’t had a stellar passing game this year, but they’ve had one that’s good enough. This is a moment, though, where competitors and gamers step up, and I think the Aggie offense is full of them. It may be tough sledding at points, but I think the passing game for Texas A&M football will get enough done—not enough for me to call it an advantage, but I think they can move the ball better than most teams on the Tide.
Advantage Score: Alabama by 1