Alabama Crimson Tide: What We Learned In Week 2, What To Look For In Week 3

By Scott Page

The Alabama Crimson Tide (1-0, 0-0) take a business-like approach to football, reflecting the image of its head coach. Bama has “no use” for players like Johnny Manziel who get caught up in the emotions, trash talk and all other things that, according to Nick Saban, sap precious bits of focus away from the task at hand – winning, perfection, greatness, pick one.

“People who get emotional sometimes don’t make the best decisions,” Saban said in a press conference Monday. “We need to make good decisions in [the Texas A&M (2-0, 0-0)] game so that we put ourselves in the best position to have a chance to be successful against very good players.

“That part of the game [trash talking], I have no use for. And you’ve seen very little of that from our team. That’s not going to be our approach going into the game.”

Though Saban addressed what has become a constant in both of A&M’s games – trash talking directed at and coming from Manziel – the Crimson Tide’s primary concern is the pace of the Aggies’ offense. Alabama’s defense was noticeably gassed during the first quarter of last year’s matchup when A&M rattled off three consecutive scoring drives. The Tide ultimately recovered and limited the Aggies to nine points over the next three quarters, but the damage was done.

This year, however, Alabama has the benefit of playing Texas A&M following a bye as opposed to a hard-faught game against LSU. Bama players and coaches said this team is much better conditioned for Saturday’s game than it was in the days leading up to last year’s.

What to look for in Week 3: Will the Tide’s distraction-free, business-like approach and better preparation for Manziel and the Aggies’ up-tempo attack pay off? If I had to bet, I would say a focused Alabama team comes out of College Station still undefeated and ranked No. 1.

Scott Page is a college football writer for Follow him on Twitter, Like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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