Fighting through an inefficient offense and ill-performing special teams unit, No. 1 Alabama narrowly topped Texas A&M on Saturday night in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to keep its perfect season alive and avenge last year’s road loss to the Aggies. Leading 24-20 late in the fourth quarter, Alabama defended at the goal line in the game’s final seconds as Texas A&M quarterback Haynes King’s pass from the 2-yard line fell incomplete with time ticking off the clock.
King, who filled in for injured QB Max Johnson, took the game all the way to the final whistle by leading Texas A&M on a furious 10-play, 69-yard drive. However, Alabama’s defense held on the last play as the Tide survived their biggest scare of the season to this point.
Bama running back Jahmyr Gibbs was the star of the show picking up 167 total yards for a team that struggled offensively behind QB Jalen Milroe. Filling in for 2021 Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young, who sat out with a sprained shoulder suffered last week, Milroe completed just 12 of 19 passes for 111 yards with an interception and two fumbles; both fumbles led directly to Texas A&M touchdowns. However, Milroe also ran for 83 key yards on 17 carries and tossed three touchdowns to help spur the Bama offense in key moments.
King ran for his life much of the game as the Tide’s front seven was relentless. He was sacked three times, hurried and hurried 14 times with Alabama star linebacker Will Anderson Jr., the CBS Sports Preseason Player of the Year, notching eight of those pressures. King ultimately completed just 25 of 46 passes for 253 yards with two touchdowns and a pick.
That kind of defensive performance from the Tide was necessary considering how sloppy they were with the football. In addition to Milroe’s miscues, RB Jase McClellan also lost a fumble. In total, the ball hitting the ground three times led to 17 points for the Aggies. Combined with an uneven performance from Bama kicker Will Reichard — who made a 50-yard field goal just before halftime but missed from 47 yards late in the third quarter and 35 yards midway through the fourth — the Tide kept the Aggies in the game until the bitter end.
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