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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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View from the other sideline

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Photo by PROVIDED

Alabama’s The Crimson White’s assistant sports editor gave his analysis on Saturday’s game. 

The Battalion Sports Editor Carter Karels spoke with Alabama’s Crimson White Assistant Sports Editor Tyler Waldrep about the football game Saturday.

 

THE BATTALION: What would you say the atmosphere is like in Alabama leading up to the game?

WALDREP: I would say that plenty of students see Texas A&M as a respectable opponent that could give Alabama trouble, but this is the SEC West and pretty much anyone — excluding Auburn — could beat anyone else. Students largely do not appear to be giving this game the attention that it received the previous two years. Several students just can’t get past the 59-0 shutout that happened last year in Tuscaloosa. 

THE BATTALION: Alabama has struggled offensively, particularly in the quarterback position. Do you think Jake Coker is the answer for the Crimson Tide? And can he be enough to take down A&M and run the table in the SEC?

WALDREP: I think Jake Coker is the answer for Alabama right now, and I wonder if the Crimson Tide would have lost to Ole Miss if he had started that game. His ability to scramble and make plays with his feet has surprised everyone including his teammates, but at times he is careless with the ball when he faces pressure. Overall, I think Coker can have success this weekend and going forward as long as he is not asked to do too much. 

THE BATTALION: How will the secondary for Alabama look against the potent A&M offense and receivers? Will Tra Carson threaten the Crimson Tide at all?

WALDREP: The secondary looks better this year than it did last year, but so far three of Alabama’s four Power 5 opponents have been run-heavy teams. Texas A&M has the best passing attack the Crimson Tide has seen yet, and this weekend’s game will likely demonstrate just how far Alabama’s secondary has come since last season. When Texas A&M does decide to run, Tra Carson will probably find limited success on the outside. He shouldn’t pick up anything running straight at Alabama’s talented front seven. The Crimson Tide handled Nick Chubb and Alex Collins without trouble, and I’m not sure there is a running back in the country that can have success against this front.

THE BATTALION: What is your opinion on the offensive coordinator, Lane Kiffin?

WALDREP: I think Lane Kiffin is a brilliant offensive coordinator. He’s been a revelation for Alabama, and he elevates the entire offense with his play calling. With that being said, I do think Kiffin can be stubborn at times. He seems intent on running jet sweeps even though Alabama has had no consistent success to support the play call. The offense also seems to run pass plays at times when the safer answer would be to rely on running backs Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake. 

THE BATTALION: What are your overall gameday predictions? What will the score be?

WALDREP: I think Alabama’s secondary will allow a few explosive plays, and Texas A&M will use those to take the lead early in the game. By the end of the game Alabama will look like a well-oiled machine, but the Aggies will make the Crimson Tide sweat early on. Alabama wins 38-27.

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