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Texas A&M quarterback Trevor Knight gets another shot to knock out Alabama

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

TUSCALOOSA—Since 2008, 10 different quarterbacks have guided their programs to wins over Alabama teams coached by Nick Saban. Former LSU standout Jordan Jefferson is the lone signal caller that has defeated Saban twice (2010-11), during his 10-year span in Tuscaloosa.

This week, the Crimson Tide will host Texas A&M in a top-10 showdown between two unbeaten Southeastern Conference schools. Despite much of this team not being on campus in 2013, every Alabama fan remembers the one quarterback who torched the Tide’s secondary for four touchdowns.

His career has been marred by inconsistency, but the 2014 BCS Allstate Sugar was a marquee moment in Trevor Knight’s life. Knight, who was a true freshman, captained 11th-ranked Oklahoma into the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to face No. 3-ranked Alabama. Offensive coordinator Josh Heupel dialed up the perfect game plan, and Knight took over from there. He completed 32 of 44 passes (72.7 percent) for 348 yards, navigating the Sooners to a stunning 45-31 win in New Orleans, La. His performance made him the ninth quarterback to defeat Saban since ’08, but Knight has a chance to be only the second guy to beat him twice.

After losing his job to Baker Mayfield in 2015, Knight transferred to Texas A&M.

The guidance of head coach Kevin Sumlin and offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone has rejuvenated him, restoring the confidence he had as a freshman at Oklahoma. Knight is one of the reasons behind the Aggies’ undefeated season, totaling 2,002 yards (502 rushing) and 18 scores. He still has trouble reading coverages at times, but having targets like Christian Kirk, Ricky Seals-Jones and Josh Reynolds make things better for the graduate transfer. Like Alabama, Texas A&M goes to a lot of design quarterback runs when it gets to midfield.

Knight ran through both Tennessee and Arkansas for a combined 267 yards and five touchdowns on 25 carries. He fought his way into the end zone for a one-yard score against the Volunteers two weeks ago, securing a 45-38 victory for the Aggies at Kyle Field in double overtime.

A win on Saturday puts Texas A&M in the driver’s seat for the Southeastern Conference Championship Game in Atlanta, and gives it one of the four slots in the College Football Playoff. Most of Alabama’s heart-breaking losses have come at Bryant-Denny Stadium, including a 29-24 defeat at the hand of the Aggies in 2012.

Ex-Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel cemented his Heisman moment, accounting for 345 total yards (92 rushing) and two touchdown passes. ESPN’s College GameDay and CBS Sports will be in attendance, as the Tide looks for revenge and an opportunity to run the table in the SEC West. Not many quarterbacks can claim two wins over Alabama under Nick Saban, Saturday afternoon gives Knight an avenue to join a class of his own.

Stephen M. Smith is a senior analyst and columnist for Touchdown Alabama MagazineYou can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

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Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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