Alabama's road to a second-straight national title was not stopped by a loss to the Texas A&M Aggies last year, but Johnny Manziel and company will certainly be looking to leave their mark as the Tide travel to College Station for a marquee matchup Saturday. Television coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS.
The No. 1 Tide had an easy time of it in their season opener, dispatching the Virginia Tech Hokies 35-10 in Atlanta in Week 1. Christion Jones scored three total touchdowns, including two kicks returned for scores, while the Alabama defense held Logan Thomas to a pitiful five completions on 26 attempts for 59 yards and an interception. The Tide were absolutely smothering, dominating the Hokie offense on every play except a 77-yard touchdown run from Trey Edmunds.
The No. 6 Aggies' early season has been eventful, thanks to the media coverage surrounding reigning Heisman winner Johnny Manziel. The quarterback was suspended for the first half of A&M's opener against Rice, and returned to throw three touchdowns in just eight attempts before being benched after drawing a taunting penalty. The Aggies would win the game 52-31. In the second week, Texas A&M held off a resilient Sam Houston State team, defeating the Bearkats 65-28, on the strength of four total touchdowns and over 400 yards passing from Manziel.
Alabama's only loss in 2012 came to Texas A&M in the middle of November, as the Manziel-led Aggies jumped to a 20-0 first quarter lead, from which the Tide would never recover. Manziel threw for two touchdowns and ran for 92 yards on the game -- the biggest SEC victory for the Aggies yet.
Rankings and records: Alabama is the top-ranked team in both the AP Poll and the Coaches' Poll, while the Aggies are ranked sixth in both polls. The Tide have a 3-2 lead in the all-time series.
Weather: A high of 95 and partly cloudy.
Three names to know
Adrian Hubbard. The junior linebacker had just two tackles against Virginia Tech, but recorded 11 tackles for a loss in 2012 and will be a major component in the Tide's quest to contain A&M's exuberant quarterback. Also, preseason All-American C.J. Mosley claims he'll be the one shadowing Johnny Football.
Christion Jones. The wide receiver had a hat trick against Virginia Tech -- returning a punt and a kick for a touchdown as well as catching a pass for a score. Alabama's offense is less settled than their defense, and if Jones can contribute points again it could be easy for the Tide on the road. But that'll all depend on Bama's troubled offensive line protecting AJ McCarron.
Johnny Manziel. Did you think we were going to go with someone else? Manziel will look to repeat his heroics from last season and continue his pace of three touchdowns per game. He'll have to face off against one of the best defenses in the country to do it, but the quarterback certainly does not lack in confidence. There will also be a CBS Johnny Cam. Even Charles Barkley's had enough.
Two things at stake
This is a simple one. Alabama desperately wants to avenge last year's lone defeat. Texas A&M thinks they're good enough to win the division and the conference, and that goal will be out of their control if they drop this one. The winner has the inside track on the race for the SEC and the world.
How to witness
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS.
Online streaming: ULive.