No. 24 Texas A&M hosts No. 1 and untested Alabama
No. 1 Alabama (5-0, 2-0 SEC) at No. 24 Texas A&M (3-2, 1-1) Saturday at 3:30 p.m. EDT (CBS).
Line: Alabama by 17.
Series record: Alabama leads 9-2.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Alabama has risen to the top of the poll without facing a ranked team. Now, the Crimson Tide gets its first Top 25 test, on the road. The Aggies could make a huge statement with a win after a disappointing start that includes a 24-10 loss to No. 2 Clemson.
Texas A&M’s defense against Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa and his dangerous group of wide receivers. The Aggies are giving up just 17.8 points and 299.8 yards per game. The Tide ranks third nationally in passing offense and fourth in scoring offense. Tagovailoa and WR DeVonta Smith are coming off a huge game against Mississippi.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Alabama: S Xavier McKinney. The Tide gave up 109 rushing yards to Mississippi quarterback John Rhys Plumlee before an open date. McKinney made a career-high 13 tackles in that game and leads the team in that category.
Texas A&M: QB Kellen Mond. The Aggies have sputtered at times on offense but face a Tide defense that hasn’t been nearly as dominant as usual. He’ll have to produce if Texas A&M hopes to keep up with an Alabama offense averaging 51.8 points per game.
FACTS & FIGURES
Alabama has won all four meetings in College Station and has a six-game winning streak over Texas A&M. … The Aggies beat a top-ranked Tide team 29-24 in 2012. They’re only the fifth team since the AP poll started in 1936 to face two No. 1 teams in a season, having already lost 24-10 to then-No. 1 Clemson. Texas A&M also did it in 1970. … Mond needs just 76 rushing yards to join Johnny Manziel, Reggie McNeal and Stephen McGee as the only Texas A&M players to pass for 5,000-plus yards and rush for 1,000-plus yards in a career. … Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher was the offensive coordinator under Alabama’s Nick Saban at LSU. Saban is 16-0 against his former assistants when they were head coaches.