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THE TAILGATE: A Graphical Preview of Texas A&M vs UAB

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ZOMBIE AGPOCALYPSE

The University of Alabama Birmington Dragons were dead. Their program was shut down, and their fans were left in the cold without a football team to potentially ruin most Saturdays for them. I remember being sad when that announcement was made because, well, football is fun. If you have a team and it’s taken away from you, what do you do? But they were killed. Dead. And now, two years later, they’re back. Where I come from, that’s a fucking zombie.

I don’t know what you think about zombies, but I’m against them. Especially zombie dragons. If I were in Game of Thrones when that icy boi started flying around, I’d have noped my way southeast to try my luck with the Dothraki. The Aggies have to fight zombie dragons on Saturday, and that poses a serious threat to the Aggies.

What threat, you ask? Well, let me ask you this: how does one kill a zombie? Go on, think on it really hard. There’ve been enough zombies in pop culture over the last decade that every last one of you should be ready to join Antizom in the battle. You hit that son of a bitch in the head. What is the rule that’s been plaguing the Aggies this year? Targeting.

That’s right, this is an NCAA conspiracy against Texas A&M and their God-given right to fight against the undead. Big Concussion is out to make the Aggies too scared to fight Zombie Dragon Football, but I know that a Deep State Conspiracy is no match for Jimbo and the Ags.

Aggies - 42
Dragons - 17


*I shouldn't need to say this, but I in no way advocate targeting.


CAST OF CHARACTERS

Number 8 had a pretty solid performance against Ole Miss last week. We'll need his steady guidance on the front seven to curtail a run-first Blazer O.

What a difference he made last week. Kellen Mond looked completely different out there with his former high school teammate as a target. Look for even more production as he gets fully re-acclimated into the offense.

Has he been perfect? No. Has he made some bad decisions lately? Yes. Has he also made some pretty throws when we needed them? Yes also. We're gonna give Jimbo the benefit of the doubt on the QB situation here and assume he know what he's doing. Let him earn that 75 mil.

Californian who ended up in Birmingham via Montana. This kid's got some miles under his belt. He's also scored two different ways on defense: a 48-yard fumble return and a safety. Defensive playmakers have been somewhat problematic for the Ags in the past month.

Leads the team in both interceptions and passes defended. Oh and also? Brontae's mother's name is Charlotte. Bit of a *Jane Eyre sais quoi*, no? [slams pinkie in metal doorframe in utter shame]

Last year's Freshman All-American is having a solid sophomore outing. He's the workhorse life force of the Blazer offense. Sitting at 913 rushing yards on the year, the defense will be trying to keep him under that thousand marker.


MILLERTIME

Hey, it's been a fun week. We beat a division opponent by two touchdowns at home in November. Haven't seen an 11 a.m. performance that riveting since I caught the matinee of "Hamilton" on Broadway couple months back. Least I think it was "Hamilton." Maybe it was just one of those millennial Revolutionary War cosplay parties. I dunno. I didn't see any avocado toast. {waits smugly for nonexistent laughter to subside}

So: gonna stay positive today. How's about that Trayveon Williams, folks? He's chewing up more ground than the Circle K Corporation opening new franchises every 7 blocks, babe. You see what happens when we give this guy 30+ touches? We need to feed him the rock like Homer eating donuts in hell. Last time we had a game-changing back like this, Kyle Field was astroturf and recruits took payments in good ol' fashioned rolls of cash, not mysterious Venmos coded with smiley face thingys. Texas A&M has the leading rusher in the SEC with two games left on the year. I think it's safe to say that Jimbo's committed to runnin' the dang bawl. On Saturday I wanna see him get more separate carries than an etsy order originating in Russia and bound for the West Coast. Let's have some fun, OK?


WHAT TO WATCH FOR

HERE THERE BE DRAGONS

Nothing to see here, just another late season SEC non-conference matchup featuring one struggling team and one top 25 powerhouse who just clinched their division. The pessimist would see this as rotten luck that after such a difficult schedule even our late-season cupcake just happened to have razor blades in it this year. To be honest though, after playing Ole Miss last week the Aggies kinda need the strength of schedule boost.

FATHER OF DRAGONS

For many, many (read: two) years this land was devoid of Dragons, their fire had gone out in the world. But one man believed that it was his destiny to one day ride Dragons to claim the kingdom of Cusa as his birthright. Now the fire of his conviction has borne out the prophesy, and he stands on the verge of conquest. Should he accomplish the unthinkable and defeat the Agrarian horde on their own land, look for Bill of House Clark, First of His Name, The Undefeated (In Conference) and Father Of Dragons to receive praise and adulation from his people at UAB. In this case that probably means $3.6MM per year plus a lease on a 2019 Chevy Passenger Express fleet van and membership at the 24 Hour Fitness of his choice.

DRAGON ASS

It's late in the season and like all teams the Aggies are having to deal with the constant fatigue, the constant injuries, and the constant opponents taking a timeout with a minute to go when they're getting beat to get an Aggie ejected for targeting. If I had a nickel for every time, well, I would have a quarter now. Look for the Aggies to avoid injuries and ejections by spending the second half trying to stop UAB players by tapping them on the shoulder, squeezing their arm lightly, killing them with kindness, and attempting to compliment them into some sort of polite embarrassment coma.


ELSEWHERE IN THE SEC

Woof. It must be the second-to-last game of the season because the SEC is over here licking its wounds and noshing on cupcakes. Let's do a quick rundown of all of the games in the SEC, none of which should you watch under any circumstances.

THE CITADEL @ #1 ALABAMA
Elephants haven't so thoroughly outmatched a military force since Hannibal crossed the Alps to attack Rome.

IDAHO @ #13 FLORIDA
If I want to see a handful of aging fans of The Vandals converge on Gainesville I'll just wait for a Less Than Jake reunion tour.

MIDDLE TENNESSEE @ #17 KENTUCKY
"Middle Tennessee State" is an anagram of "a deleted sentient mess", which accurately describes how I feel about this game.

ARKANSAS @ #21 MISSISSIPPI STATE
Ah, the one glorious game when the rest of the SEC sends these two teams to camp so we can spend at least one weekend without having to listen to all that racket.

MISSOURI @ TENNESSEE
If I wanted to watch volunteers get mauled by tigers I'd go visit an SPCA office in Bangladesh.

UMASS @ #5 GEORGIA
Minutemen haven't gotten their asses kicked this bad in Georgia since Major General Benjamin Lincoln helped lay siege to the redcoats in Savannah.

LIBERTY @ AUBURN
The last time a Jerry Falwell organization took on the SEC they were found guilty of fraud. This time it's even money that sentence is passed on Malzahn.

RICE @ #7 LSU
Finally the MOB will arrive in Baton Rouge and teach the people of Louisiana the true meaning of dirty rice.

OLE MISS @ VANDERBILT
Look if I wanted to watch a bunch of commodores try to fight off some sharks in vain I'd watch USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage.

CHATTANOOGA @ SOUTH CAROLINA
Will Muschamp realized last night that To Kill A Mockingbird is not an instructional audio book.


HOTREELZ


ROI'd RAGE

Jimbo got an SEC West home win and bowl eligibility in somehow the least satisfying way possible. And yes, with the right bowl matchup Jimbo is still on track for an 8 win season. Still, no one likes the employee who only wears the bare minimum amount of flair. You probably ain't gonna peg this meter, but the only way to get close is to win out.


PLACE YOUR BETS


BEST CASE / BESTER CASE

BEST CASE

Beat the hell outta the FBS school, play the second team the whole second half. Make a sandwich. Have a beer.

BESTER CASE

Play the second stringers in the second quarter, roll out the student section in the 4h quarter. Eat an entire brisket. Move to a beach. Conquer your crippling anxiety. Face your fears. Marry your best friend. Dance like no one is watching. Finish a puzzle. Call your grandma. Compliment a stranger. Take a nap, you did a lot today.