Mike Evans Explodes with Monster 1st-Half Performance vs. Alabama

Ryan DavenportContributor ISeptember 14, 2013

Sep 14, 2013; College Station, TX, USA; Texas A&M Aggies receiver Mike Evans (13) makes a catch in the first quarter against Alabama Crimson Tide cornerback John Fulton (10) at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

In what was supposed to be a battle between two of the nation's best teams, featuring arguably the two most decorated quarterbacks in college football, Texas A&M's Mike Evans stole the show on the big stage, at least during the first half.

And though it was Johnny Manziel who was supposed to be the offensive weapon that led the way for the Aggies against the Crimson Tide's vaunted defense, we really shouldn't be surprised that it was Evans who ultimately showed up to play. 

Yes, it's virtually unheard-of for a wide receiver to haul in 135 yards of catches in a single half, especially against No. 1 Alabama, but it's not as if the 6'5" sophomore came out of nowhere. 

In fact, as a freshman, Evans racked up 1,105 yards. Interestingly, he managed only 40 yards against Nick Saban's boys during the Aggies' road upset last season. 

Well, Evans made up for that today. 

With all four of his receptions breaking 30 yards, Evans was the definition of a big-play receiver during the opening two quarters of perhaps the most important game of the 2013 season, and that sort of mettle bodes well for the College Station faithful.

What's even more impressive (and at the same time potentially troubling for the Aggies' offense) is that Evans' four receptions all came during the first quarter. From there, the Tide took over for the rest of the half, and finished the job by hanging on for a 49-42 victory.

As ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit pointed out, it seemed as if the rest of the Aggies' offense had taken the afternoon off during the game's opening half. 


Fortunately, Evans' teammates picked up the slack in the later stages of the clash, but the Aggies' hopes of upsetting the Crimson Tide at home were eventually dashed, because A.J. McCarron staked Alabama to a 28-14 lead before halftime, and the visitors never let up. 

But regardless of the outcome, with his performance tonight, Evans announced to the college football world that there's more than one seriously dangerous offensive threat for opposing teams to worry about when playing Texas A&M. 

In the end, Manziel and Evans both left Kyle Field with reasons to be optimistic about the rest of the season, as Johnny Football threw for more than 460 yards and five touchdowns (despite two interceptions), and Evans grabbed an absolutely ridiculous 279 yards and a score on seven catches. 

If their partnership today was any indication of things to come, the Aggies should still be in title contention by season's end, at least if the offense has anything to say on the matter.