Three Thoughts on the Aggies Loss to Alabama

Saturday saw Texas A&M finally fall to their first defeat of the 2016 season. Once again, the Alabama Crimson Tide proved that they are the top team in the SEC. The Aggies left Bryant-Denny Stadium disappointed that they couldn’t match up for four quarters. Despite this defeat, the Aggies are still 6-1 with a very manageable final five games in the regular season. Here are three thoughts on the Aggies loss to Alabama and how this might affect the team going forward.

Two key plays decided the game

The Aggies were leading 14-13 in the third quarter. On third down, Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts went to throw the ball away under pressure from linebacker Shaan Washington. Unfortunately, Washington pushed Hurts in the face after he threw the ball away and drew a personal foul penalty.

Instead of punting the ball on fourth down, Alabama got a free first down and they proceeded to drive down the field to score a touchdown to take the lead. This was quickly followed by a disastrous third down play for Trevor Knight. The ball would be fumbled and returned for a touchdown whilst trying to hand the ball off to Keith Ford.

To beat Alabama you have to be almost perfect because of how talented they are, and these two plays really turned the game. It would have been interesting to see what this team could have done if they had the ball with the 14-13 lead.

The offensive line was exposed

The offensive line struggled mightily early in the game as defensive lineman Jonathan Allen, amongst others, wreaked havoc. The Aggies are starting a true freshman at left guard and a redshirt freshman at center. The whole line had performed very well through the first six games but the Alabama defensive front ran over them at times.

The positive to take from the game was that they made adjustments and improved late in the second quarter onward. They still had bad plays, but they managed to create some running lanes for Ford and Knight got some time to make plays. The experience of playing probably the best defensive line in the country will be beneficial for this young group.

The team is far more resilient this year

Before Knight hit Josh Reynolds in the corner of the end zone for the Aggies first points of the game, Alabama had four trips to the red zone. That resulted in just one touchdown and two field goals on the scoreboard. The defense did a great job of keeping this team in the game.

The experience and leadership within this team have held stronger than they did two years ago. They battled and kept themselves in the game until the third quarter before the game got away. Hopefully this continues as it’s entirely possible for this team to finish the regular season 11-1, with LSU and Ole Miss both having to come to College Station.