No. 1 Alabama 49, at No. 6 Texas A&M 42
STATION, Texas - This 49-42 win by the top-ranked Crimson Tide dropped
A&M’s all-time record at No. 1-ranked teams to 2-11. The Tide
overcame an early 14-0 deficit, scoring 28 consecutive points to close
the first half on the way to a wild 49-42 victory over No. 6 Texas
A&M Saturday afternoon before an overflow crowd of 87,596, the
fourth-largest crowd in Kyle Field's 87-season history (capacity:
Crimson Tide quarterback AJ McCarron passed for a
career-high 334 yards and four touchdowns and the Alabama defense
overcame a shaky start to contain A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel
for much of the game as the Tide captured its 16th consecutive victory
away from Tuscaloosa and its ninth straight win at an SEC road venue.
The Alabama offense rolled for 570 total yards (236 rushing, 334
passing) while running back T.J. Yeldon rushed for 149 yards and safety
Vinnie Sunseri returned an intercepted pass 73 yards for a score.
teams combined for 1,196 yards of offense in the game (628 by A&M,
568 by Alabama). The Aggies' total is the most ever given up by Alabama
in a single game, eclipsing the 611 total yards by LSU in 2001. The
Tide, meanwhile, gained its most yardage against an opponent since
gaining 618 yards against Ole Miss in 2011.
Mosley had 12 tackles to lead the Alabama defense. Safety Landon
Collins added seven stops, safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix had six tackles,
cornerback Cyrus Jones had five tackles, plus an interception, and jack
linebacker Denzel Devall had five stops.
The Aggies took the
opening kickoff, starting at their own 16-yard line and quickly moved
to an early lead. After a 12-yard run by quarterback Johnny Manziel on
the opening play to reach the Aggie 28, Manziel passed to wide receiver
Mike Evans for 32 yards on a streak pattern to the Alabama 40-yard
line. After another Manziel keeper failed to gain, he connected with
Evans again for 35 yards to the Tide 5. From there, running back Ben
Malena rushed for a yard, then Malena took a pitchout for three more
yards to the Tide 1 before Manziel passed off play-action to tight end
Cameron Clear for a 1-yard touchdown with 12:21 left in the first
quarter. Taylor Bertolet's kick gave the Aggies a 7-0 lead.
the ensuing kickoff, Alabama's Christion Jones was downed at the Tide
10. Two false start penalties stymied the Tide offense, eventually
forcing a punt that set up the A&M offense at the Aggie 41 with
9:21 left in the first quarter.
From there, the Aggies moved 59
yards to another touchdown. Manziel kept for 11 yards on first down
into Alabama territory at the Tide 48. On the next play, Manziel was
flushed from the passing pocket and scrambled for 13 yards to the Tide
35. He then hit Evans on another streak pattern down the right
sideline, this one for 34 yards to the Tide 1, giving Evans three
catches for 101 yards at that point in the game. After an incomplete
pass, Malena scored on a one-yard run. Bertolet's kick gave A&M a
14-0 lead with 7:47 left in the first quarter.
The Tide offense
responded on the ensuing possession to cut the lead in half, driving 75
yards in six plays to a touchdown. After a fair catch in the end zone
on the kickoff, the drive started with an AJ McCarron completion to
wide receiver Amari Cooper for 13 yards to the UA 38. McCarron then hit
receiver Kevin Norwood for another 13 yards to the Aggie 49. Running
back Jalston Fowler then took a handoff straight up the middle and
rumbled for 15 yards to the Aggie 34. McCarron passed to tight end
Brian Vogler for 12 yards in the middle of the field to the Aggie 22.
From there, McCarron threw to Norwood on a deep post route. Norwood
made a spectacular leaping catch while turning around over Aggie
defensive back De'Vante Harris at the goal line to score for Alabama.
Cade Foster's kick drew the Tide within a touchdown at 14-7 with 5:24
left in the first quarter.
Alabama forced an Aggie punt on the
next A&M possession, starting another Tide possession at the
Alabama 20-yard line. After incompletions to Cooper on the first two
plays, McCarron finally connected with Cooper on a comeback route for
21 yards and a first down at the Tide 41 on the last play of the first
quarter. The second period started with an incompletion intended for
Vogler. McCarron then passed to tight end O.J. Howard for 15 yards to
the Aggie 44. On the next play, McCarron handed to Fowler, who
lateraled back to McCarron who passed to DeAndrew White on a deep
streak pattern. White hauled in the pass around the Aggie 10 and raced
into the end zone. Foster's conversion kick tied the game at 14-14 with
14:15 remaining in the second quarter.
The ensuing kickoff was
not returned, and A&M set up at its 25 to start the next
possession. On first down, a run by Malena was stopped for no gain. On
second down, Manziel passed to receiver Travis Labhart for 12 yards to
the Aggie 37, then Labhart was held by Tide safety Vinnie Sunseri for a
holding penalty that move the Aggies to the A&M 47. After a false
start penalty created a first-and-15 for A&M at the Aggie 42,
Manziel passed to receiver Derel Walker for six yards to the Aggie 48,
then hit Walker again for 16 to the Tide 36. After a Malena rush lost
three yards, Manziel gained five on a keeper. On third-and-eight at the
Tide 34, Manziel eluded a rush around the 50 and launched a high lob
pass up for grabs that receiver Edward Pope nabbed from a crowd of
defenders for a 12-yard gain and a first down at the Tide 22.
first down, Manziel rushed for seven yards to the Tide 15, then Malena
gained eight yards on a run to set up first-and-goal at the Tide 7.
Manziel kept for three yards to the Tide four-yard line. On
second-and-goal at the Tide 4, Manziel passed to receiver Ja'Quay
Williams on a post route to the left corner of the end zone, but
Alabama's Cyrus Jones intercepted the pass to end the threat and give
the Tide the ball at their own 20-yard line with 10:27 left in the
On first down, running back Kenyan Drake took
his first carry of the day for two yards to the Tide 22. McCarron then
play-action faked and hit Howard for 27 yards to the Tide 49. After an
incompletion for Cooper, McCarron hit wide receiver Kenny Bell on a
short pass. Bell ran past a clearing block and broke free for a 51-yard
touchdown to give the Tide a 21-14 lead with 8:55 left in the second
The Tide defense overcame a 15-yard personal foul to
force A&M to punt from the Aggie 38. Drew Kaser's 51-yard punt went
out of bounds at the Tide 12 and Alabama took over at its own seven due
to a substitution infraction on the play. Alabama went to the rushing
game on the drive as Yeldon rushed for six, seven and 13 yards on the
first three plays to reach the Tide 33. Then, McCarron passed along the
sideline to Norwood for 17 yards to the 50. On first down, Yeldon
gained six over left guard, then was stopped for no gain in the middle
to set up a third-and-four at the A&M 44. McCarron passed to Vogler
across the middle for a gain of 12 to the Aggie 32, then passed to
Drake for two yards to the A&M 30. On second-and-eight, Drake took
a handoff through left guard for 10 yards and a first down at the
Drake took another handoff up the middle and bounced
to his left on a 16-yard run to the Aggie four. From there, Yeldon came
in at running back and scored on a four-yard run off right tackle.
Foster's kick gave the Tide a 28-14 lead with 45 seconds left in the
After an Alabama punt to start the second half,
Manziel rushed for nine yards from his own 34 to the Aggie 43. On the
next play, Manziel passed deep into Tide territory where safety Vinnie
Sunseri intercepted at the Alabama 27-yard line. Sunseri took the ball
and weaved downfield through the Aggie offense, eventually leaping
through an attempted tackle at the goal line for a touchdown. Foster's
conversion kick gave the Tide a 35-14 lead with 12:41 left in the third
A&M responded quickly. LaQuvionte Gonzalez returned
the kickoff 40 yards to the A&M 42. From there, the Aggie running
game revved up with Tre Carson rushing for three yards, Malena rushing
for nine, four and three yards to the Alabama 36, then Manziel rushing
for seven on a play that was negated by a holding penalty. That miscue
moved A&M back to a first-and-20 at the Tide 46. Malena rushed for
seven on first down before an incomplete pass set up third and 13 at
the Tide 39. A pass interference call on Tide cornerback John Fulton
set up the Aggies with a first down at the Tide 25. Running back Tra
Carson carried for eight yards on first down to the Tide 17, then
Carson rushed for three more for a first down at the Alabama 14 with
9:45 left in the third quarter. Manziel then passed to receiver Malcome
Kennedy for a 14-yard touchdown. Bertolet's kick shaved the Alabama
lead to 35-21 with 9:32 remaining in the period.
offense came right back to restore the 21-point lead, driving 83 yards
in 10 plays to extend the lead. Yeldon rushed four times for 44 yards
on the march, and Fowler added two carries for 14 yards before Drake
capped the drive with a three-yard run. Foster's kick gave Alabama a
42-21 lead with 4:16 left in the third quarter.
80 yards in four plays early in the fourth quarter to narrow the Tide
lead. Manziel had a 20-yard run and a 24-yard pass to Walker before the
12-yard scoring pass to Kennedy with 13:20 left in the fourth quarter.
Bertolet's kick trimmed the Tide lead to 42-28.
the ensuing possession with a 26-yard pass to White to the A&M 49.
Yeldon then bulled for 11 yards, then eclipsed the 100-yard mark with
six more to the Aggie 32. Fifteen yards were added to the play due to
an illegal participation penalty on A&M, giving the Tide a first
down at the Aggie 17. Yeldon blasted for nine yards to the Aggie 8,
then for two more to a first-and-goal at the A&M 6. Yeldon then
carried up the middle for five more to the A&M 1, then was nailed
by A&M free safety for a two-yard loss and fumbled on the play.
A&M linebacker Shaan Washington recovered for the Aggies at the
A&M 3 with 8:42 left in the fourth period.
third-and-eight at the A&M 5, Manziel connected with Evans who had
broken free behind the Tide secondary. Evans hauled in the pass at the
A&M 40 and raced into the end zone to complete a 95-yard touchdown
play. Bertolet's kick narrowed the Alabama lead to 42-35 with 8:04
remaining. It moved Manziel past 400 yards passing for the game, and
moved Evans to 247 receiving yards in the contest.
offense was unfazed. The Tide methodically moved down the field to a
clinching touchdown, marching 65 yards in nine plays and chewing up
5:36 of game time. The drive was keyed by a 26-yard pass from McCarron
to Howard to the Aggie 20 and was ended by a five-yard McCarron pass to
Fowler for the touchdown. Foster's kick gave the Tide a 49-35 lead with
A&M raced back with a 75-yard scoring march
capped by a four-yard pass from Manziel to Kennedy with 15 seconds
left. Bertolet's kick made it Alabama 49, A&M 42.