Alabama vs. Texas A&M Aggies: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly


In recent years there has been no offense that has given Alabama fits quite like that of Texas A&M. Saturday afternoon that was far from the case as the Crimson Tide (6-1) shutout the Aggies (5-3) by a final of 59-0.

It was the highest margin of victory for an Alabama team since a 66-3 win over Vanderbilt in 1979. Ironically enough it was also Texas A&M’s first shutout loss since a Dennis Franchione-led A&M was destroyed by Oklahoma in 2003.

A fired-up Alabama team dominated every phase of the game from the opening kickoff to the final play of the game. It was truly one of the most dominating games in Alabama history the likes of Bear Bryant would have surely been proud of himself.

The Good

After stalling over the past couple of weeks the Alabama offense rebounded with a staggering 602 yards of offense, 59 points, 298 yards rushing, 304 yards passing, no turnovers, no penalties, and 80 plays averaging almost nine yards per play.

Mistakes and turnovers had been backbreakers for the Alabama offense over the past few weeks but there were very few against Texas A&M. In fact Alabama punter J.K. Scott never even saw the field until most of the starters had left the game in the second half.

Yes, A&M’s defense is poor but the types of numbers Alabama put up against the Aggies would be staggering against air, let alone an SEC defense. Also, these are numbers that Ole Miss nor Arkansas, Alabama’s last two opponents, even came close to matching against Texas A&M.

Blake Sims has heard a lot of criticism over the past few weeks, but he let it slide off of his back and continued to show why he is the leader of the Tide offense. Sims threw for 268 yards and three TDs and did not turn the ball over. He also took a page out of the Johnny Manziel playbook on a dazzling 43 yard scoring run that I’m sure Kenny “Snake” Stabler surely appreciated. Sims was efficient, poised, and deadly in both the passing and running game.

Amari Cooper was smothered last week by Arkansas as they decided to play two men on Cooper, one of which was in his face, at all times. A&M on the other hand decided to dedicate an extra man to stopping the run and allow man coverage or zone coverage on Cooper. The All American made them pay for it with 140 yards and two touchdowns.

T.J. Yeldon may have turned in his best came at Alabama running for 114 yards, two touchdowns, and 45 yards receiving – most of which came in the first half. Yeldon ran hard and made some incredible moves to break tackles that he hasn’t show in awhile. The Alabama running game finally got back on track and it paid dividends.

The offensive line took all of the criticism from not only fans and pundits, but even coaches and they turned into a fine performance. Cameron Robinson was singled out by his coaches as playing particularly poor last week, and the massive freshman responded by putting on his finest performance thus far. Bradley Bozeman played much better in his second start replacing injured Ryan Kelly, and though he still had a couple of busted assignments he played very well.

Alabama’s defense has had their butts handed to them against Texas A&M the past two seasons, but this year was much different. One of the highest-rated offenses in the country was held to just 172 yards of total offense.

The Tide defense played passionately, tough, and disciplined and in return they stifled and frustrated Texas A&M like we have not seen before. Trey DePriest, Nick Perry, Landon Collins, and Eddie Jackson had particularly excellent games on the defensive side of the ball. DePriest may have be the best player on the field and looked as if he was everywhere on every play. He was solid in pass coverage and just as solid in run defense. Reggie Ragland had a big game as well, even playing down on the line including his incredible leaping interception on A&M’s lone trip into Alabama territory.

Reuben Foster was an absolute terror on special teams. He had multiple big hits on kickoff returns, and had a quarterback sack. Unfortunately he was injured on the play and it is unclear how severe. Regardless it seems Foster may become the best special teams ace the Tide has if he can stay healthy.

Even the injury bug decided to spare Alabama this week. After a few weeks of some pretty disastrous injuries piling up, the Tide seems to have dodged a couple of bullets Saturday. Even though we still don’t know about Foster’s injury, we do know about the injuries to tackle Austin Shepherd and defensive end Jonathan Allen. Shepherd suffered a knee and ankle sprain and Nick Saban said that if the game was close he would have been able to return. Allen simply suffered severe cramps and should be fine going forward. Both injuries looked much more severe when they happened.

Something must be said about the coaching and the way Nick Saban has handled a bit of a mid-season slump from his team. Saban stood up for his players this past week as the media and even fans criticized them mercilessly over the struggles against Ole Miss and Arkansas. Saban pointed out how fired up and passionate his team celebrated after Landon Collins’ game sealing interception against Arkansas, and how that was the most fired up he had seen a team at Alabama in quite some time. That spilled over into the Texas A&M game. I can’t recall seeing an Alabama team play with that much passion, fire, and just sheer enjoyment since probably the 2011 BCS National Championship. The team was having fun and it showed.

The Bad and The Ugly

What bad can you say about such a dominating and impressive victory? Yes, there were a few missed assignments on the offensive line and a couple of missed tackles later when the backups came in, but really the only thing bad or ugly about this one was the way Texas A&M played.

Final Stats

Blake Sims: 16-27, 268 yards, 3 TD; 4 carries, 54 yards, 1 TD
Jacob Coker: 5-8, 36 yards, 1 TD

TJ Yeldon: 13 carries, 114 yards, 2 TD; 3 catches, 45 yards
Derrick Henry: 10 carries, 70 yards, 1 TD; 1 catch, 41 yards, 1 TD
Tyren Jones: 9 carries, 34 yards
Altee Tenpenny: 8 carries, 30 yards

Amari Cooper: 8 catches, 140 yards, 2 TD
DeAndrew White: 3 catches, 30 yards
Cameron Sims: 3 catches, 14 yards
Ty Flournoy-Smth: 1 catch, 14 yards, 1 TD
Jalston Fowler: 1 catch, 12 yards
ArDarius Stewart: 1 catch, 8 yards

Ryan Anderson: 6 tackles, 1.0 tackle for loss
Geno Smith: 5 tackles, 1 forced fumble
Nick Perry: 5 tackles, 2 pass breakups
Reuben Foster: 5 tackles, 1.0 tackle for loss, 1.0 sack
Trey DePriest: 5 tackles, 1.0 tackle for loss, 1 pass breakup
Reggie Ragland: 5 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 1 INT, 0.5 sack
Dillon Lee: 5 tackles
Cyrus Jones: 4 tackles
Landon Collins: 3 tackles, 1 pass breakup
DJ Pettway: 3 tackles, 1.0 tackle for loss, 1.0 sack
Eddie Jackson: 2 tackles
Shaun Dion-Hamilton: 2 tackles
Jonathan Allen: 2 tackles, 1.0 tackle for lsos, 1 pass breakup, 1.0 sack
Jabriel Washington: 1 tackle
Jalston Fowler: 1 tackle
Da’Shawn Hand: 1 tackle, 1.0 tackle for loss, 1.0 sack
Jarrick Williams: 1 tackle
Darren Lake: 1 tackle
Cole Mazza: 1 tackle
Korren Kirven: 1 tackle
Xzavier Dickson: 1 tackle, 0.5 tackle for loss, 0.5 sack
Hootie Jones: 1 tackle
Maurice Smith: 1 tackle, 0.5 tackle for loss, 0.5 sack
Tim Williams: 1 tackle, 0.5 tackle for loss, 0.5 sack
A’Shawn Robinson: 1 quarterback hurry

JK Scott: 4 punts, 50.0 yards per punt, long: 56 yards (1 inside 20 yard line), 1/1 XP
Adam Griffith: 1/1 FGs, 7/7 XPs