- Associated Press - Thursday, October 16, 2014

No. 21 Texas A&M; (5-2, 2-2 Southeastern Conference) at No. 7 Alabama (5-1, 2-1), 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS)

Line: Alabama by 11 1/2.

Series Record: Alabama leads 4-2.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Alabama needs a win to keep its hopes of a Southeastern Conference title and College Football Playoff berth intact. Texas A&M; is trying to stop a two-game losing streak, with the losses coming to No. 1 Mississippi State and No. 3 Mississippi.

KEY MATCHUP

Alabama’s running game against Texas A&M;’s defense. RBs T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry were held in check against Arkansas but are still a formidable duo. If they can power their way to first downs, the Tide can try to play keep-away from Texas A&M;’s potent offense. The Aggies rank 11th in the SEC in rush defense and have given up 200-plus yards on the ground three times.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Texas A&M;: QB Kenny Hill leads the nation’s No. 3 passing offense but has five interceptions and a fumble in the last two games. Hill needs just 322 yards to reach 3,000 in total offense. Alabama’s secondary is inexperienced and was burned by Johnny Manziel for 464 yards and five touchdowns last season.

Alabama: WR Amari Cooper cooled off from a torrid start with just two catches against Arkansas, but has 38 more receptions than any other Tide player. He faces a Texas A&M; defense that ranks 50th nationally against the pass.

FACTS AND FIGURES

Texas A&M; leads the SEC in scoring and total offense, averaging 43.9 points and 564.9 yards per game. Alabama has one of the league’s stingiest defenses, giving up 15.3 points and 277.2 yards on average. … Alabama’s 66 rushing yards against Arkansas matched the Tide’s fewest since 2010 against South Carolina. … Tide center Ryan Kelly is doubtful with a knee injury. … The Aggies are 6-2 in road games against Top 25 teams under coach Kevin Sumlin, including a 2012 win at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama is 26-10 against ranked opponents since the start of the 2008 season. … Texas A&M; DE Myles Garrett needs one sack to break Jadeveon Clowney’s SEC freshman record of eight.


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