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Alabama began the season ranked No. 1 in both preseason polls, but there were two games fans had circled on the calendar in the offseason: Sept. 14 at Texas A&M and Nov. 9 against LSU.
The Tide’s games against those two SEC West powers were instant classics in 2012, and both the Aggies and Tigers returned plenty of firepower in 2013.
The much-hyped meeting against the Aggies in College Station turned out to be another thriller, with Alabama prevailing in a 49-42 shootout, despite a herculean effort from Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel (524 yards of total offense) and receiver Mike Evans (seven catches, 279 yards and a touchdown).
Alabama’s annual slugfest against LSU appeared to be another game destined to go down the wire, with the score tied at 17 midway through the third quarter. However, after Saban successfully duped Les Miles and the Tigers with a fake punt in his own territory, the Tide would go on the score the game’s final 21 points and cruise to a 38-17 win.
The second-half performance against the Tigers was possibly the strongest and most complete half of football the Tide played all season.