Offense and Special Teams Key in No. 1 Alabama’s 47-28 Win at No. 241 Texas
October 12, 2019
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Big plays on offense and special teams helped No. 1
Alabama to a 47-28 road victory against No. 24/21 Texas A&M at Kyle Field on
Saturday in College Station, Texas. Following the win, the Crimson Tide
improves to 6-0 on the year with a 3-0 mark in Southeastern Conference play,
while the Aggies drop to 3-3 overall and 1-2 in SEC competition.
Photo Credit - RollTide.com
On offense, junior quarterback Tua Tagovailoa went 21-of-34 for 293 yards,
while setting the Alabama career touchdown record with 81, moving ahead of
the previous all-time mark of 77 set by AJ McCarron (2010-13). The Tide
signal-caller recorded four scores through the air in the game and now has
81 for his career. Junior running back Najee Harris was tops in the UA ground
game, totaling a career-high 20 carries resulting in a season-best 114 yards.
Junior DeVonta Smith totaled 99 receiving yards and one touchdown on seven
catches to lead the Alabama wide receivers. Sophomore wideout and punt
returner Jaylen Waddle totaled 176 all-purpose yards after catching three
passes for 48 yards and his first receiving touchdown of the season to go
with 128 yards on his four punt returns. Junior Henry Ruggs III had one
score on his only grab of the day from 33-yards out while also accounting
for 131 yards on four kickoff returns.
On defense, linebackers Anfernee Jennings and Shane Lee tallied a team-high
eight tackles apiece. Jennings, a redshirt senior, added one sack, a pair of
tackles for loss and one pass breakup on the day. Senior defensive back
Shyheim Carter anchored the Tide secondary with seven tackles, two pass
breakups and a forced fumble.
The Aggies began the game by marching down the field and using a 15-play,
75-yard drive to take the early 7-0 lead.
On its first offensive possession, the Tide answered with a methodical
10-play, 73-yard scoring drive capped off by Tagovailoa connecting with
Waddle for a 31-yard touchdown.
Following a Texas A&M three-and-out, Alabama struck again with Tagovailoa
finding Smith on the slant before he turned the short pass into a 47-yard
score, giving UA the 14-7 lead after the first quarter of play.
The two sides traded field goals in the second quarter before Tagovailoa
threw his third touchdown of the half, linking up with Harris from 16 yards
out to make it 24-10 with 5:28 to go in the second.
Texas A&M added a field goal before the halftime break to cut the Tide lead
Alabama received the ball to begin the second half and used a nine-play,
51-yard drive that was capped off by redshirt sophomore Joseph Bulovas'
27-yard field goal to extend the advantage to 27-13.
The Tide continued to pour on the points in the third after Ruggs III hauled
in a 33-yard touchdown pass from Tagovailoa to make it 34-13.
With five minutes to go in the quarter, A&M cut the lead to 34-20 thanks to
a 25-yard scoring strike through the air.
In the fourth, Alabama got the ball with favorable field position after
Waddle took the punt deep into A&M territory on a 42-yard return. Five plays
later, junior running back Brian Robinson Jr. barreled into the end zone
from two yards out to finish the 33-yard scoring drive and make it 40-20
in favor of the Tide.
With the Aggies ready to punt deep in their own territory, sophomore Ale
Kaho blocked the punt and with the ball rolling on the two-yard line,
redshirt sophomore Tyrell Shavers picked it up for the score to push the
lead to 47-20 with 11:30 in the game.
Texas A&M added a touchdown and two-point conversion with 8:48 remaining
in the contest to make it 47-28, the eventual final.
Tagovailoa finished with a 167.1 passer rating while his four passing
touchdowns moved his season total to 27 through six games.
Harris touched the ball 23 times in the game and gained 133 total yards
of offense, including one touchdown reception.
In addition to his 33-yard touchdown catch, Ruggs III had four solid returns
on kickoffs, averaging 33 yards each time he touched the ball.
Waddle was also key in getting the Tide into great field position in the
return game. The sophomore standout totaled 128 yards on four punt returns,
including a long of 43.
Kaho blocked his second punt in the last two games for the Tide, as the
second-year player also blocked a punt for a touchdown against Ole Miss
on Sept. 28.
Alabama went 8-of-13 on third downs today, including all three first half
touchdown passes from Tagovailoa coming on third down.
The Tide defense put pressure on A&M quarterback Kellen Mond all game,
tallying five sacks and only allowing one on offense.
In the return game, UA totaled 311 yards compared to the 24 yards from the
Alabama is back home at Bryant-Denny Stadium next week when it hosts
Tennessee on Saturday, Oct. 19. Kickoff between the Crimson Tide and
Volunteers will be at 8 p.m. CT and air on CBS.
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