Bama Gets Big, Sloppy Win At Texas A&M

Bama Gets Win At Texas A&M
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Coming out of Kyle Field in College Station, Texas with a big 19-point victory should leave any team feeling good. For the Alabama Crimson Tide (6-0) they have more questions than answers after defeating the Texas A&M Aggies (3-3) with a 47-28 score. It is not surprising to see an Alabama team come out sluggish, or showing a lack of good communication after coming off a bye week. For head coach Nick Saban, he continues a perfect record of 18-0 against head coaches were his former assistants as the Tide took down the Aggies coached by Jimbo Fisher as Bama gets another win at Texas A&M.

Bama Gets Win At Texas A&M

Tide’s Offense Is Elite With Cracks

The Crimson Tide came into this game as the third-ranked offense in terms of points accounted per game (51.8), total yards per game (555), and passing yards per game (380.6). For the Aggies to take some control of the game, they didn’t need to stop Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. They needed to create coverage schemes and maneuvers to take out certain big players. One of the biggest keys to this was limiting wide receiver Jerry Jeudy. Against the Aggies, Jeudy had four receptions for 50 yards and a couple of dropped passes. There was a huge communication problem between Jeudy and Tagovailoa and the Tide offense. Tagovailoa’s only interception so far this season came in the end zone from an excellent play-and-read from safety Demani Richardson. This was Jeudy’s most underwhelming game so far this season.

Tagovailoa and the Crimson Tide’s offense still had a proficient outing against a determined Aggies defense. Tagovailoa threw for 21 completions (out of 34 attempts) for 293 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. Three of his touchdowns passes came from quick reads on short routes that allowed the receivers to run for a long touchdown. Wide receiver Devonta Smith, wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, wide receiver Henry Ruggs III, and running back Najee Harris each accounted for a receiving touchdown. Harris also  accounted for 114 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. Ruggs and Waddle came alive most in their respective special teams’ duties. Ruggs had four kickoff returns for 131 yards, averaging 32.8 yards per return. Waddle had four punt returns of 128 yards for an average of 32 yards. There multiple situations where Ruggs and Waddle almost got a touchdown on their returns.

The Defense Did Not Sync

Safety Xavier McKinney did a great job of calling defensive adjustments throughout the game for the Tide. At times, the middle linebackers or the inside secondary players did not react to the adjustments of the Aggies offense. To give Texas A&M’s offense credit, they did a good job of exposing the Tide’s defensive weaknesses. Aggies quarterback Kellen Mond had himself a good game by passing for 24 completions (out of 42 attempts) for 264 yards and two touchdowns. He reacted quickly to running room scenarios as he rushed for 90 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. At first, the Tide’s defensive line was getting pushed too easily or over pursuing the pocket going for the sack. They did find some momentum as they made staying in the pocket difficult for Mond. The Tide’s defense accounted for five sacks and seven tackles for loss.

Outside linebacker Anfernee Jennings accounted for eight total tackles, six solo tackles, two tackles for loss, and a pass deflection. Outside linebacker Terrell Lewis accounted for two sacks and two tackles for loss. Whenever the defensive line found consistency against the Aggies’ offensive line, the Tide’s secondary found themselves in trouble by making bad moves while in coverages. The most efficient secondary players were cornerback Patrick Surtain II and McKinney. Even cornerback Trevon Diggs found himself making mistakes by making hasty moves while coverages. The Tide’s secondary accounted for 10 total pass deflections on Mond. Surtain, Diggs, and safety Shyheim Carter were the three secondary players that accounted for two pass deflections each.

The Tide Need To Eliminate Mistakes

This game served as a much-needed wake-up call for the Crimson Tide on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Efficient communication is highly important for the Tide’s passing between Tagovailoa and his highly talented receivers. Defensively, there needs to be more a proper flow of communication to other players when the opposing offense makes adjustments. Mental flaws the Tide must fix are penalties as Alabama was penalized 11 times for 91 yards. The defense gave up big first downs based on penalties alone.

Smith penalized the Tide for throwing a punch and ejected near the end of the game. His status for playing next Saturday against Tennessee is in the hands of the SEC as will the Aggies defender who also threw a punch but wasn’t ejected. Offensive tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. penalized the Tide for unnecessarily jumping on the pile. After the game, Wills tried to start a fight with Aggies players of which afterward Tagovailoa was shown congratulating those Aggies players. Saban admitted that the Tide didn’t finish with class and will address this before it becomes a major issue as the season rolls along.

 

Bama Gets Win Main Photo:

COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS – OCTOBER 12: Wide receiver DeVonta Smith #6 of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs for a touchdown against Texas A&M Aggies at Kyle Field on October 12, 2019 in College Station, Texas. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)