Texas A&M may have lost the much-anticipated rematch with No. 1 Alabama in Week 3, but the Aggies are still an explosive team capable of running the table the rest of the way.
In the rematch against the Crimson Tide, the Aggies allowed 49 points, but they also posted 42 points. In fact, 42 points is the most points Alabama has allowed in a win in its history.
Texas A&M allowed 568 yards of total offense to Alabama, but also racked up 628 total yards itself. Johnny Manziel threw for 464 yards and five touchdowns to two interceptions while also rushing for 98 yards in the loss.
The Aggies face a far less daunting challenge against Southern Methodist. The Mustangs defeated Montana State in their last game, 31-30, but were handled by Texas Tech in Week 1, 41-23.
Here's a look at the matchup on Saturday in College Station.
When: Saturday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Kyle Field, College Station, TX
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Betting Line (via Covers.com): Texas A&M -28
Southern Methodist Injuries (via USA Today)
Questionable: LB Randall Joyner (Leg), RB Traylon Shead (Knee)
Texas A&M Injuries (via USA Today)
Out: S Floyd Raven (Collarbone), WR Ricky Seals-Jones (Knee)
Questionable: RB Trey Williams (Ankle), DT Isaiah Golden (Personal)
Top Storyline: Texas A&M's Defense Needs Major Work
It's not often that you explode for 568 total yards and 42 points but still lose.
We knew Texas A&M's defense was bad before Week 3—giving up 31 points to Rice and 28 points to Sam Houston State—but Alabama showed that it could be worse against top-level competition.
The Crimson Tide punted three times in the whole game. Quarterback A.J. McCarron was never sacked, and the Aggies recorded one quarterback hurry as a team.
Sophomore defensive end Julien Obioha said after the game, via Sam Khan Jr. of ESPN.com:
You can't let a great quarterback like AJ McCarron not even get hit or pressured at all. They ran a lot of play action, which doesn't help the defensive line get any pressure, but we've got to come up with a way to get pressure on the quarterback. He can't sit there all day. He's too good.
From this point on, it's about improving from week to week on the defensive side of the ball. The Aggies still have to face Ole Miss, LSU and Missouri before the end of the regular season. All three teams have the ability to put up major points.
Prediction: Texas A&M 52, Southern Methodist 27
Who will win on Saturday?
Texas A&M is simply going to outscore most of its opponents this season. The Aggies have too much firepower for most teams to win shootouts against them.
That figures to be the case on Saturday against SMU. The Mustangs should be able to put up some points, but the Aggies still rank fourth in the nation with 53.0 points per contest. It doesn't help that SMU is allowing 35.5 points per game, 105th in the country.
I expect the Aggies to put forth a better defensive effort on Saturday in College Station. The offense will continue to roll.