Alabama 49, Texas A&M 42: Final
No. 1 Alabama defeated No. 6 Texas A&M 49-42 in a pivotal SEC West showdown with significant implications in the national title race. Check out the analysis and final grades here.
For the full box score, check out NCAA.com.
Game Analysis for the Alabama Crimson Tide
A.J. McCarron went 20-of-29 for 334 yards and four touchdowns. He hit nine different receivers and did not turn the ball over. When his team needed him most, he responded like a veteran.
He is now 27-2 as a starter.
The Crimson Tide ran for 237 yards on 36 carries. T.J. Yeldon finished with 149 yards and a touchdown. After its rough showing against Virginia Tech, the offensive line responded by turning in a dominant performance.
Vinnie Sunseri’s 73-yard interception return for a touchdown early in the third quarter was a game-changer. However, the secondary allowed Aggies receiver Mike Evans to torch it to the tune of 279 receiving yards.
Manziel was able to scramble for a few big plays on the ground, but the Tide’s defense held running backs Ben Malena and Tra Carson in check. The Aggies did, though, average more than five yards per carry on 32 attempts.
Senior punter Cody Mandell averaged nearly 53 yards per punt on his three attempts, which helped his club win the field-position battle.
The return units were solid all game.
Saban and his staff deserve a ton of credit for getting their team to respond to an early 14-0 deficit in one of the most hostile environments in the country.
1st-Half Analysis for the Alabama Crimson Tide
A.J. McCarron caught fire after a slow start. Receivers Kevin Norwood, Kenny Bell and DeAndrew White each caught a touchdown pass of more than 20 yards.
McCarron has gone 13-of-18 for 250 yards with three scores and no turnovers.
Alabama favored the pass in the first half. The offensive line settled down and opened up holes when the Tide chose to run.
T.J. Yeldon was the Tide’s leading rusher, with eight carries for 45 yards and a score.
Johnny Manziel once again got off to a scorching start. He faced little to no pass rush on the Aggies' first two drives.
The Tide settled down, and corner Cyrus Jones did get a huge interception in the red zone.
Manziel is tough to defend in open space. He was able to make some plays scrambling and on designed runs. He was the Aggies' leading rusher in the first half, with 61 yards on 11 carries.
Christion Jones has been unable to replicate his success from Week 1 in the return game. The Tide’s return units have been solid.
Nick Saban and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier deserve a lot of credit for turning it around after a rough start.