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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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Taking on the Tide in Tuscaloosa

Senior%26%23160%3BDeshawn+Capers-Smith+smiles+after+a+successful+defensive+stop+against+Clemson.
Photo by Photo by Jesse Everett

Senior Deshawn Capers-Smith smiles after a successful defensive stop against Clemson.

This weekend, No. 1 Alabama will meet their toughest opponent so far this season as they face off against Jimbo Fisher and No. 22 Texas A&M.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban said this matchup is unlike the previous teams they’ve played thus far. Saban credits the challenge of facing A&M to the Aggies’ balanced offense, highly ranked defense and talented punter.
“This is a really good team that we’re playing,” Saban said. “The best team that we’ve played so far. [It’s] really going to be important that we do a good job in preparation all week and getting ready for a big game.”
The Crimson Tide remains 3-0 this season, defeating their opponents by a minimum of 37 points each game. With a big 62-7 win over Ole Miss last week, Alabama is making sure they don’t get comfortable, pushing for improvement in practice this week.
“We sat down and we have a lot to work on and improve on,” Alabama tight end Irv Smith Jr. said. “Every day, we have a mindset to get better and focus more on our opponent and we’re going to do that this week.”
Smith’s teammate, linebacker Christian Miller, said improving their communication against a strong A&M offense is key.
“Keep executing and working on the small things,” Miller said. “Work on our communication, from front to back and overall, just keep improving every week.”
The Aggies are 8-2 against the Crimson Tide, with the last five meetings in favor of Alabama. However, Saban isn’t ruling out A&M just yet. With Jimbo Fisher at the helm, Saban said A&M is earning a new look in the SEC.
“I think everybody who takes over a program is really working hard to establish the principles and the vales of the organization — the standard you want people to work to in terms of effort, toughness and tangibles,” Saban said. “Jimbo has obviously done a really good job of that. They’re a completely different kind of team than they’ve been in the past.”
The game will serve as A&M’s first time on the road this season and Alabama’s SEC season home opener. Alabama defensive back Xavier McKinney said being home comes with it’s own challenges and expectations for the team.
“You always feel the pressure to win at home because you want to defend home field,” McKinney said. “ We kind of go out there with more focus and being more prepared and ready to win.”
Alabama will strive to secure a 4-0 season record against A&M at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday. Kickoff begins at 2:30 p.m. and the game will be televised on CBS.

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