No. 24 Texas A&M fell to No. 1 Alabama 47-28 in front of a record crowd of 106,749 on Saturday. Here’s what we learned.
The Aggies came into Saturday’s game looking to create more turnovers after a three-game stretch in which they had only one interception. The defense were successful in that against Alabama, giving Tua Tagovailoa his first interception of the season. At the two-minute mark of the second quarter, freshman defensive back Demani Richardson picked off Tagovailoa’s pass in the end zone, returning it for 16 yards.
“Safeties have a lot on them, just like quarterbacks — they’re the key guys,” A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “He made some outstanding plays and he’s going to be a really good player.”
A&M continues to struggle in the run
In a game in which the passing attack struggled — junior quarterback Kellen Mond was 24-of-42 — the Aggies needed a rushing attack to supplement the offense, though that’s not what they got. The Aggies had three rushers with carries on Saturday for a total of 125 yards on the ground. Mond led A&M with 90 yards on 16 attempts. Freshman running back Isaiah Spiller accumulated 27 yards on 10 carries, and sophomore running back Jacob Kibodi added eight yards on two attempts.
“We try to feed off each other,” junior wide receiver Quartney Davis said. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the run game going. We just try to feed off the run game or the pass game, whichever one pops.”
Special teams — not so special
Senior Braden Mann — usually a solid piece of the team — had an uncharacteristically bad game against Alabama. He had five punts returned for a total of 152 yards and three kicks for 105 yards. Junior Drew Riethman came in for relief of Mann on two kicks, which were returned 26 and 28 yards respectively. In the fourth quarter, Mann had a punt blocked for an Alabama touchdown.