Texas A&M vs. No. 1 Alabama game preview: A change at QB for Aggies

COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS – SEPTEMBER 03: Haynes King #13 of the Texas A&M Aggies looks to pass during the first half against the Sam Houston State Bearkats at Kyle Field on September 03, 2022 in College Station, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Texas A&M vs. No. 1 Alabama game preview: A change at QB for Aggies


Texas A&M (3-2) vs. Alabama (5-0)

Game time: Sat., Oct. 8 – 7 p.m. CT

TV/radio: CBS/XM 138 or XM 191

What’s at stake: The pride of either Jimbo Fisher or Nick Saban. 

When the Aggies have the ball:

Quarterback Haynes King was benched by Jimbo Fisher three weeks into the season after the Aggies were handed a massive upset at the hands of Appalachian State. King will find himself throwing passes for the maroon and white again on Saturday in Tuscaloosa.

After the loss to Appalachian State, head coach Jimbo Fisher called upon LSU transfer Max Johnson to be A&M’s starting quarterback. Johnson and the Aggies then won two straight games against top 13 teams (No. 13 Miami and no. No. 10 Arkansas) before losing last week to an unranked Mississippi State team. In the fourth quarter of last week’s game in Starkville, Johnson sustained a broken bone in his throwing hand and could now be lost for the remainder of this year’s football season. Cue King’s return.

This week is no Appalachian State. It’s the Crimson Tide. An Alabama team that currently (and frequently over the years) find themselves at the top of the college football world.

If Texas A&M wants to avoid an absolute bloodbath at the hands of Nick Saban, the Aggie offense will need to maximize their opportunities with their best weapon; running back Devon Achane. Run with Achane. Pass to Achane. Get the ball in his hands as much as possible.

The most important ingredient for success on Saturday? King must show vast improvement in his decision making. Be conscious of protecting the football and avoiding interceptions while playing in enemy territory- Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

When Alabama has the ball:

Alabama’s Heisman trophy-winning quarterback Bryce Young was injured in the week five matchup with the Arkansas Razorbacks after being sacked in the second quarter. It has been reported that Young could be held out of Saturday’s contest. If that is the case the Crimson Tide will have to turn to Jalen Milroe, a redshirt freshman from Katy. Milroe is considered more of a running threat than a passing threat, which could pose some unique challenges for an Aggie defense that has struggled to stop the run this season.

The Texas A&M defense has bailed out a horrendous Jimbo Fisher offense on more than one occasion during the 2022 campaign. Whether Young is under center for the Tide or not, the Aggie defense will need to play close to perfect in order to keep A&M close against the country’s top-ranked collegiate football team.

Key Aggies to watch:

QB Haynes King

Can the Longview native show the mental toughness he will undoubtedly need to take on number one Alabama?

Benched after the upset loss to Appalachian State, King will need to develop a quick and strong case of amnesia. Forget App State. Forget getting benched. 

King has right now. That’s it. His future as a collegiate athlete will depend on each football snap in Tuscaloosa.

S Demani Richardson

The fourth-year defensive back has made his presence known each game. A true “game changer” for the Aggie defense. That has never been on display more thanlast season when Alabama came to College Station.

Texas A&M stunned the then-number two Alabama Crimson Tide with a 41-38 win. Richardson contributed in a big way, recording seven tackles and adding an interception as he snagged a Bryce Young pass in the end zone.

Richardson is a playmaking defensive back. The Aggies will need him to be exactly that on Saturday night.

RB Devon Achane

It has been obvious in the young 2022 season that Texas A&M has had two reliable playmaking weapons on offense; receiver Ainias Smith and running back Devon Achane. The problem? Ainias Smith will no longer be on the field for A&M after a season-ending injury. Aggie QB King has failed to perform well this year, and now he will be without Smith to rely on in key situations. However, RB Achane will have his cleats on.

Achane is averaging 5.8 yards per carry this year. Will Jimbo Fisher and the Texas A&M decision makers on the sideline have a game plan that optimizes touches for Achane? The 12th man better hope so.

The bottom line:

October 2021 seems like a lifetime ago. Much has happened since Texas A&M upset Alabama 41-38 in College Station last year.

This past May, Nick Saban accused his former offensive coordinator of buying “every player on their team.” Fisher responded with multiple verbal jabs. “Some people think they’re God,” Fisher said of Saban after calling an emergency press conference. Jimbo went on to encourage reporters to “go dig into his [Saban’s] past.” Ultimately, it was a goldmine of sound bites.

The postgame midfield handshake with Jimbo and Saban will be must-watch television no matter the outcome. The final score is unlikely to favor the Aggies. Above all things, Nick Saban is a competitor. A prideful competitor. Saban took a jab with the loss in College Station last year. He took an uppercut when Jimbo suggested that “somebody should have slapped him [Saban].”

Expect Alabama to be up big before the fourth quarter starts in Tuscaloosa. Saban will keep his starters in, though. The seven-time national champion head coach of the Tide is going for the jugular on Saturday night. Unless Haynes King becomes the quarterback that Jimbo thought he was in August.

Expect a blood bath. A “Crimson Tide” if you will.


No. 1 Alabama- 42

Texas A&M- 10

Related Posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *