Four Downs: Alabama vs. Texas A&M
The top-ranked Alabama football team faced another ranked opponent Saturday when No. 6 Texas A&M visited. Here are four burning questions the Crimson Tide answered:
1. Will Alabama's offense continue to produce big plays?
Alabama was able to gash the Aggies for some long runs – Damien Harris broke away for a long carry of 30 yards and Jalen Hurts had a 37-yard touchdown jaunt – but A&M mostly kept the big-play passes in check. ArDarius Stewart's 45-yard reception as UA's longest pass play of the day, and most of the completions were short and under the defensive coverage.
2. What will John Chavis dial up for Jalen Hurts?
Texas A&M's defensive coordinator tried to take away the run and put a lot on the shoulders of Alabama's freshman quarterback, and kept him contained for a while. But Hurts finished strong to best the Aggie defense, passing for 164 yards and two scores and rushing for almost 100 yards and another touchdown. He threw two interceptions, but neither proved costly.
3. Can Alabama score yet another non-offensive touchdown?
The Crimson Tide did it again, extending its streak of scoring a touchdown on defense or special teams to 10 games in a row, dating back to last season. But it took almost three quarters for it to happen. Jonathan Allen returned a fumble 30 yards for a score with 21 seconds left in the third period.
4. Will Trevor Knight be able to do it again?
A&M's quarterback defeated Alabama in the Sugar Bowl when he was at Oklahoma with a big game, but he wasn't allowed to stay in a rhythm this time. Knight completed just 14 of 31 attempts for 164 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He was sacked five times and ended up with 24 net rushing yards on 13 carries.