Texas A&M Football vs. Alabama: Aggie OL vs. Tide Pass Rush
This is a strength-on-strength matchup in this game. Opponents have sent a lot of blitzes at the Aggie offensive line, and they have endured a trial by fire because of it. The Miami game in particular saw a lot of issues with protections, but due to Weigman’s ability to throw under pressure, he was not sacked. In fact, Aggie QBs have only been sacked 6 times for the year, despite the enormous amount of pressure that they have been under.
Even so, the fact that the Tide are facing Johnson rather than Weigman is of concern for Texas A&M football fans. Where Weigman excelled under pressure, Johnson can easily freeze up—he stands too long in the pocket and has trouble coming off his presnap reads. When he does try to escape the pocket, it’s a tossup as to whether he will run away from or directly into a sack, similar to Milroe.
As I mentioned before, though, I’m really loving how this A&M offensive line is beginning to come together. I think a fair amount of that has to do with the fact that Johnson is far better than Weigman at calling out protections, at least from what I’ve seen so far. They seem more clued in on what is happening with the defensive front, who the blitzers are, and generally seem more aware. Arkansas was a team that excelled at getting to the quarterback, but not only did they fail to record a sack, they really only got in Johnson’s face once or twice for the whole game. I see the Aggie offensive front holding their own against the Alabama pass rush more often than not, giving Max time to operate in the pocket.
Advantage Score: Aggies by 2