There’s Alabama and then there is everyone else.
Coming into their home contest against #6 Texas A&M, the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide were favored by Las Vegas oddsmakers by 18 points. I guess they knew more than we did.
Led by a smothering defense that held the eighth-ranked offense of Texas A&M (6-1) to just 278 total yards, the Crimson Tide improved to 8-0 on the season as a result of a 33-14 victory. While the Alabama defense displayed dominance, the run game for the Tide was a tone-setter in its own right with 287 yards on the ground. Running back Damien Harris led the team with 128 yards on 17 carries while freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts also chipped in with 93 rushing yards and a touchdown along with his 164 passing yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions.
An early, 6-0 first quarter lead by Alabama ballooned to 13-0 with Hurts connecting with tight end OJ Howard from five yards out. The hard-hitting contest between the two teams reached an interesting point as Texas A&M quarterback Trevor Knight connected with receiver Josh Reynolds for a score with 38 seconds left before half to trim the deficit to 13-7.
Getting the ball to start the second half, A&M took the lead with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Knight to receiver Christian Kirk that left the Crimson Tide crowd stunned and a ton of momentum on the sideline of the Aggies.
A unit that has made a habit of creating turnovers and developing those turnovers into touchdowns showed up once again late in the third quarter with a 30-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by Alabama defensive end Johnathan Allen to push the score to 26-14. The play was the ninth defensive touchdown this season for Alabama and pretty much shut the door on the Aggies and any attempt at a comeback.
On the day, Knight was flustered often and uncomfortable throughout the game by the talented Alabama defense. Knight was sacked five times and held to just 164 passing yards while the Aggies offense as a whole was held to 5-of-16 on third down and only three yards per carry on 38 rushing attempts. The win by Alabama was their 24th win in the their last 25 homes games.