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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Aggies travel to No. 2 Alabama

Sophomore+running+back+Isaiah+Spiller+had+117+rushing+yards+against+Vanderbilt.
Courtesy of Bailey Orr/Texas A&M Athletics

Sophomore running back Isaiah Spiller had 117 rushing yards against Vanderbilt.

After opening the season with a win against Vanderbilt, Texas A&M football is preparing to play No. 2 Alabama this Saturday.
A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said Alabama has established a culture of winning over a long period of time. The Crimson Tide leads the matchup against A&M 10-2, and the last time the Aggies defeated Alabama was in 2012. Since 2013, A&M has endured a seven-game losing streak against Alabama under coach Nick Saban.
“They understand how to win,” Fisher said. “They are very sound and multiple-schemed. They are very sophisticated and complex on offense and defense. They have created great competition and you have guys that know how to win and are very well coached.”
Fisher said the Aggies have to create explosive plays to stop Alabama since the Crimson Tide is physical on both sides of the ball.
“Our guys will definitely be up for the challenge; they will come to compete and play their tails off. I feel that 100 percent.” Fisher said. “I love our guys and we are ready to compete.”
Alabama’s offense is led by redshirt junior quarterback Mac Jones, who stepped into the starting role last November when former quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered a season-ending injury against Mississippi State. In the season opener against Missouri, Jones logged 249 yards and two touchdowns through the air.
Alabama junior wide receiver Jaylen Waddle netted 134 yards on eight receptions last weekend, and senior running back Najee Harris recorded 98 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
Fisher said Alabama has great players all over the field that A&M will have to watch out for.
“They have good players everywhere,” Fisher said. “They’re all top guys. You got to play all the way across the board.”
Last season, the Aggies fell to Alabama 47-28 at home. Despite the loss, A&M started the game with its longest opening drive of the season which lasted 8:03, according to 12thman.com. Senior quarterback Kellen Mond’s two touchdown passes tied him for the fifth-all time for A&M’s career passing in the game touchdowns list with a career total of 44.
Due to COVID-19 precautions, the Aggies will travel to Alabama on Friday instead of their normal routine of traveling to away games on Thursday.
“We will go on Fridays now and be there one day,” Fisher said. “We have to be safe and cannot expose ourselves to other people outside of our bubble. We have to eliminate as many cases as we can.” 
Senior defensive tackle Jayden Peevy is confident in A&M’s defense.
“This week we are going to emphasize hitting and running to the ball and stripping balls and getting more fumbles and picks to get more turnovers,” Peevy said.
Sophomore running back Isaiah Spiller said he is confident about the matchup against Alabama. 
“We need to be consistent and everyone needs to do their jobs,” Spiller said. “If we just go out there and do what we need to do and focus on the details then I feel like we should really be fine.” 
Alabama coach Nick Saban has mentioned Spiller by name as one of the key players that Alabama has prepared for. 
“He should be looking for all of us because we are all problems,” Spiller said. “I think he should be worried about the whole team because we are coming.” 
Spiller said this will be his first time playing in Alabama, and he is looking forward to this week. 
“I always look forward to the big games and the big moments,” Spiller said. “You train for these moments to help your team out in any way you can.” 
A&M will face Alabama on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m., and the game will be televised on CBS.

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