Skip to main content
Publish date:

Alabama Defense Falters Down the Stretch in Loss to Texas A&M

Crimson Tide shuts down Aggies for most of second half, but allows back-to-back scoring drives in final minutes

BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- After getting embarrassed in the first half, Alabama’s defense regrouped and was lights out in the second half against Texas A&M.

But when it counted most late in the fourth quarter, the Crimson Tide couldn’t finish.

The result was back-to-back scoring drives that lifted the Aggies over the Crimson Tide 41-38.

The consensus was Saturday’s matchup with No. 1 Alabama and an unranked Texas A&M team reeling from back-to-back losses wasn’t must-see viewing.

The Aggies didn’t get the memo.

Alabama’s defense looked lost inside Kyle Field in the first half as the Aggies made the line look pedestrian and the defensive backs look like deer in headlights.

Red zone efficiency dooms Alabama

TKO victory for Texas A&M

“I knew we were playing a good team,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. “I thought we would have a real tough game here. A lot of people assume things are going to happen, but it’s about what we do when we play the game. We have to play well to have a chance to win games. We didn’t.”

Texas A&M ripped off big runs through the defensive line in the first half, totaling 75 yards and 3.8 yards per carry, as well as four big plays of 11 or more yards.

Meanwhile, Chad Calzada lit up the Alabama secondary for 183 yards on 13 of 14 passing with four passes of 20-plus yards.

It all added up to a 24-10 halftime lead for Texas A&M. Pretty good for a 14-point underdog not expected to put up much of a fight.

Alabama appeared to wake up and came out in the next half more intense than a Texas tornado.

The results were staggering.

Read More

First half for Aggies: 258 yards, 3 of 5 on third down.

Second half for Aggies: 17 yards, 0 of 4 on third down.

“We were trying to keep the intensity up as a defense and telling everybody to finish,” defensive back Jordan Battle said. “We were trying to get off the field and get our offense back out on the field.”

It worked.

Then came the final two Texas A&M possessions.

After Alabama took its second lead of the game with five minutes to play, Texas A&M went 65 yards on six plays in two minutes for a game-tying touchdown.

With new life, the Aggies went eight plays and 54 yards on its final drive for the game-winning field goal.

That’s 119 yards of offense by a team that was held to just 17 on its previous five possessions.

“As a defense we didn’t play the best we can play,” Battle said. “We just have to go back to the drawing board.”

On those final two drives Calzada hit three plays of more than 15 yards, including the 27-yard game-tying touchdown.

“We gave up too many big plays on defense and we had several busts,” Saban said. “That’s not the kind of things you do to win games.”

“We got beat man-to-man coverage that tied the game. There were numerous things we didn’t do well enough in the game.”

Calzada finished 21 of 31 for 285 yards, the most passing yards allowed by Alabama this season. He was not sacked.

“You can start with me... I’m responsible for all of it,” Saban said. “We have to do a better job. There are a lot of things we need to fix.”