Tua Tagovailoa leads No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide past No. 24 Texas A&M
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The 12th man was rocking inside Texas A&M’s Kyle Field. Unfortunately for the Aggies, they weren’t allowed an extra defender on the field to stop Alabama’s high-powered offense.
Led by four touchdown passes from Tua Tagovailoa, No. 1 Alabama rolled to a 47-28 victory over No. 24 Texas A&M on Saturday.
Tagovailoa continued his Heisman campaign, completing 21 of 34 passes for 293 yards and four touchdowns with an interception. The junior now stands alone atop Alabama’s all-time passing touchdown list with 81. He came into the day tied with AJ McCarron with 77. It was Tagovailoa’s fourth straight game with four or more passing touchdowns. The left-hander also passed Brodie Croyle for third all-time on Alabama’s passing yards list.
Tagovailoa’s lone hiccup on the day occurred when he was intercepted in the end zone by Texas A&M safety Demani Richardson in the second quarter. The pick ended a streak of 185 passes without an interception, the fourth-longest streak in school history.
Despite yet another stellar performance from its starting quarterback, Alabama suffered its share of frustrations. Two years removed from head coach Nick Saban’s famed “rat poison” speech during Alabama’s last trip to College Station, the Crimson Tide once again showed lapses of focus during its return to the Lone Star State.
Alabama (6-0, 3-0 in the SEC) committed 11 penalties which resulted in 91yards and allowed Texas A&M (3-3, 1-2) to stay close for the majority of the game. However, on a day where No. 3 Georgia fell victim to an upset, the top-rated Crimson Tide’s undefeated season never seemed in jeopardy.
Following his record-setting game against Ole Miss, DeVonta Smith again led Alabama in receiving, pulling in seven catches for 99 yards and a touchdown. Houston native Jaylen Waddle finished with three catches for 48 yards and averaged 32 yards on four punt returns.
Running behind a reshuffled offensive line that saw Landon Dickerson move to center and Deonte Brown make his first start of the season at right guard, Najee Harris led Alabama in rushing with 114 yards on 20 carries. The junior is the first player to rush for 100 or more yards against Texas A&M this season. Harris also pulled in three receptions for 19 yards and a touchdown.
After containing Kellon Mond early in the game, Alabama allowed the Aggies' dual-threat quarterback to catch fire late. Mond completed 24 of 42 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns while adding another 90 yards and a score on the ground. However, the Crimson Tide was able to record a season-high five sacks, slowing the Aggies enough as its offense pulled away.
Terrell Lewis recorded two sacks, while Anfernee Jennings had a team-high eight tackles and a sack of his own. Xavier McKinney had six tackles, a pass breakup and a fumble recovery. Alabama recorded a non-offensive touchdown for the second straight game as Ale Kaho blocked a punt allowing Tyrell Shavers to scoop it up and score from the Aggies’ 2-yard line.
During Alabama's final drive in the fourth quarter, Smith was ejected for throwing a punch. The league will review the play before issuing discipline to the receiver.
Alabama will host Tennessee next Saturday at 8 p.m. CT inside of Bryant-Denny Stadium