Bye week comes at right time for Alabama 

September, 3, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Whether or not they'd like to admit it, the bye week comes at the perfect time for Alabama's players and coaching staff. After an underwhelming season opening win over Virginia Tech in which the offensive line was shaky, the running game rusty and the passing game paltry, an extra week to prepare for No. 7 Texas A&M could do the Crimson Tide wonders.

Jeoffrey Pagan said as much after Saturday's game in Atlanta, noting that playing Virginia Tech "definitely showed us where we're at." He didn't say it with a smile, either. It was clear that wherever Alabama was, it was not good enough. The senior defensive end was one of a number of players thankful for the timing of the bye week. The front seven played well against the Hokies, but it will have to be even better against the Aggies.

[+] EnlargeAJ McCarron
Dale Zanine/USA TODAY SportsThe Tide will need to do a better job of protecting AJ McCarron against Texas A&M than they did in the opener against Virginia Tech.
Virginia Tech and its quarterback, Logan Thomas, were a challenge. But Texas A&M and its Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel could be the test of the season for the No. 1-ranked Crimson Tide.
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