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Scouting report: How can Texas A&M try to slow Alabama?

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Herbstreit expects Texas A&M to challenge Bama (2:16)

Kirk Herbstreit sees Texas A&M hanging around with Alabama with QB Kellen Mond leading the high-powered offense. (2:16)

Just how in the world do you stop Tua Tagovailoa and the Alabama offense? You don't. Your only hope is to slow them down and limit explosive plays. However, that is much easier said than done.

The Texas A&M defense is next up with this daunting task of not only staying in the game, but actually giving its offense a chance to win in the fourth quarter. The good news for Texas A&M fans is that losing to Clemson in a Week 2 game the Aggies nearly won should provide good reason for optimism, as facing Kelly Bryant and Trevor Lawrence offers many of the same challenges Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts present.

The reality is this: Texas A&M is not equipped from a depth and talent standpoint to match up with Alabama's offense. Moreover, if Texas A&M can't stop the run, Tagovailoa and Hurts will be the least of their problems. So let's assume Texas A&M plays the ground game well. It will then be defensive coordinator Mike Elko's job to employ a similar game plan to the one two weeks ago when the Aggies limited explosive plays and got a few stops against Clemson. Alabama has 33 plays of 15-plus yards in the first three weeks, 21 of those through the air. That can't continue.

The plan is simple but no less difficult: Stop the run first, limit plays of 15-plus yards and make Alabama earn its points and yards by going the long haul. Here's a look at three defensive formations the Aggies used against Clemson that we could see against the Crimson Tide: