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Texas A&M wide receiver Malcome Kennedy said coaches have stressed tempo even more for this game.

“The offense is going to move very fast,” said Kennedy, who scored what proved to be the decisive touchdown last season. “Coach has already said that we’re focusing on tempo this week. Us being able to run and pass, and we know it got on their nerves last year. So we want to be like that this year and hopefully it will turn out well.”

Texas A&M’s success on third downs kept the offense sprinting along last season, and Alabama’s defense on its heels. The Aggies had three first downs and two touchdowns on its five third-down plays in the first quarter of that 29-24 win. They converted on 11 of 18 tries.

Saban said the Aggies’ offensive prowess isn’t just about speed.

“To me, it’s not the scheme,” he said. “It’s not the going fast, it’s their ability to do those things and execute extremely well in terms of what they do. And their players have a lot of confidence in it and they do a really good job of it.”

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AP Sports Writer Kristie Rieken contributed in College Station, Texas, to this report.

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Follow John Zenor on Twitter: Twitter.com/jzenor