Alabama Football: Crimson Tide wins kicking game toppling TAMU

(Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
(Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images) /
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Alabama football dominated Texas A&M in a surprising manner as the Crimson Tide had far greater results than the Aggies in the kicking game.

Alabama football topped the Texas A&M Aggies in College Station 47-28. There were many superlatives for the Crimson Tide and a few miscues as well. Among the superlatives, Tua Tagovailoa threw four touchdown passes. Devonta Smith had seven receptions for 99 yards and a TD. Najee Harris rushed for 112 yards and caught a touchdown pass.

Even the often criticized Alabama football defense showed signs of improvement. For the first time in what seems like forever, Terrell Lewis looked like his old self. Lewis had two sacks and frequently pressured Aggie QB, Kellen Mond. Anfernne Jennings had a big game, leading the Crimson Tide in tackles (8) with a sack and a pass break-up.

How the Crimson Tide impressively won the kicking game battle against the Aggies was both surprising and unusual. Alabama football punter, Skyler Delong was, thankfully, little needed. DeLong punted twice for an average of 29.5 yards. Nick Saban has been publicly supportive of his sophomore punter, but after DeLong shanked a pooch kick late in the game, the sideline greeting from Saban was not cordial.

With freshman, Will Reichard still sidelined by a hip flexor injury, Joseph Bulovas stepped in for the second consecutive game. Bulovas made two field goals, one bouncing in off the right upright. Bulovas also had an extra point blocked.

The kicking star of the game was supposed to be the Aggies’ Braden Mann. Mann won the Ray Guy Award last season. He handled punts and kickoffs Saturday afternoon. Mann had four punts for a 49.8-yard average. However, the bigger contribution for Mann was the two tackles he made in the game. One was a stop on Henry Ruggs III, that if Mann missed would have given the sprinting Ruggs a touchdown.

The Aggies were ripped by the Alabama football return games in both punts and kickoffs. Henry Ruggs returned four kickoffs for 131 yards. Trevon Diggs also had a kickoff return for 28 yards. Jaylen Waddle returned four of Braden Mann’s long punts. Waddle raced them back for a total of 128 yards. By comparison, the total return yards for the game were 311 yards for the Crimson Tide and 24 yards for the Aggies.

While the returns did not result in a Tide touchdown, Alabama football scored a touchdown in the kicking game. After Ale Kako blocked a Mann punt, Tyrell Shavers scooped up the ball at the two-yard line and stepped into the endzone.

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Check back with Bama Hammer as we add more perspectives on the Crimson Tide victory. Also, a hat tip to Kellen Mond who played well, without enough help – and never backed down.