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Texas A&M vs. Alabama 2016: Start time, live stream, TV schedule and 3 things to know

The Aggies try to beat the Tide for the first time since 2012.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The two best teams in the SEC, at least to date, play on Saturday. No. 6 Texas A&M visits No. 1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa in Week 8's premier matchup. This will be fun.

Alabama is a heavy favorite at home, which is proper insofar as Alabama is the clear-cut best team in the country at the moment. But A&M hasn't lost any games, and the Aggies have the talent to, at the absolute least, be an annoyance for the Crimson Tide.

They last beat Alabama with Johnny Manziel in 2012, before the Tide won a close meeting in 2013 (with Manziel still in College Station) and then crushed A&M the last two years.

The Tide aren't easy to kill. They'd be favorites even if they were on the road, not at Bryant-Denny Stadium. There's ample reason we should all expect them to win. But there's also ample reason to think the Aggies can give them a run.

How to watch, stream and listen

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS. The broadcasters are Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson, and Allie LaForce.

Radio: Texas A&M and Alabama

Online streaming: CBS Sports

Spread: Alabama opened as a 16.5-point favorite, a spread that's grown slightly.

Make friends: Get to SB Nation's team blog chats for this game at Roll Bama Roll (for Tide fans) and Good Bull Hunting (for Aggies fans).

Three big things to know

1. Jalen Hurts is only getting better. So, good luck with that, SEC. Alabama's true freshman quarterback has uniformly been better in October than he was in September, and he confidently beat up on Tennessee in Knoxville last weekend. Hurts has shown incredible polish for a rookie in the country's best league, and he's never been anything less than rock-solid. Alabama doesn't lose without some flukes and mistakes, and Hurts simply doesn't make many mistakes.

2. Alabama's going to do whatever it wants on the ground. The Aggies' run defense has been generally fine, holding opponents to 3.9 yards per carry this year. But some of its best efforts have come against lousy competition, and the Aggies' last two games have featured South Carolina averaging 4.6 and Tennessee 5.5. The Aggies have been way worse against the run in October than they were in September, and there's no reason Hurts and Damien Harris shouldn't destroy them.

3. Texas A&M can do a couple of things to keep this competitive. The first thing is to keep quarterback Trevor Knight standing upright, which they've done a good job with for most of the year. The second is for Knight to hit on a couple of big passing plays against an Alabama secondary that's usually suffocating but has had real problems giving up explosive plays. Both of those things could plausibly work out well for A&M, but the Aggies, of course, also need to play some defense. Here, that won't be easy.


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