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Alabama Football Races Past Texas A&M, 52-24

In the Crimson Tide's first game at Bryant-Denny Stadium in 2020, it cruised to a 52-24 thrashing of Texas A&M

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Thanks to a pair of wide receivers, Jaylen Waddle and John Metchie III, who both went over the century mark and a career-best day from Mac Jones, the University of Alabama football team cruised past No. 13 Texas A&M, 52-24, inside Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday afternoon. 

"I'm very pleased with the effort our players played with today," Saban said. "We had a lot of respect for Texas A&M's team. We knew it would be a difficult game. Our guys overcame some adversity. They stayed the course and kept competing. That's really what we wanted to do, try and play a game for 60 minutes. I thought we did that. All in all, it was a great win." 

Metchie and Jones opened the scoring, when the two hooked up for a 78-yard strike on the second-ranked Crimson Tide's first possession of the game to put the home team up, 7-0. A Najee Harris two-yard touchdown run would move Alabama's lead to 14-0 with just under four minutes remaining in the first quarter. 

But the visitors from College Station would soon answer back. 

After a missed tackle from defensive back Daniel Wright, tailback Ainias Smith hauled in a 47-yard pass from Kellen Mond and scampered his way into the end zone to cut into Alabama's advantage. 

On the ensuing drive, Jones threw his first interception of the season on a tipped pass that the Aggies would turn into seven points on the very next play, tying the contest at 14 in the early stages of the second period. 

From that moment on, Alabama was in full control, going on a 38-10 run that included touchdowns from a quartet of weapons including DeVonta Smith, Waddle, Harris, and Metchie, again. 

Jones was sensational for the Crimson Tide offense, throwing for a career-high 435 yards, which is good for fourth-most in school history in a single game, and four touchdown passes.  

"I though Mac played really well in the game," Saban said. "Kept his poise. Didn't get too affected by the tipped-ball interception. Just did a really good job."

Afterwards, Jones wasn't as satisfied with his performance as the Crimson Tide faithful was. 

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"Anytime you win a game, that's something to be proud of," Jones said. "But you gotta go back and watch film. I missed some big-time throws and everyone did their job on those plays, except for me. I have to fix that and everyone else needs to keep doing what they are doing."

Metchie's two touchdowns and 181 yards came on five catches, while Waddle also caught five passes for 141 yards, a new-career high for the junior, and one touchdown. 

Meanwhile on defense, sophomore linebacker Christian Harris led Alabama in tackles with 10 and freshman Malachi Moore and Wright each had one interception. 

All is forgiven with Wright, who missed the tackle on Ainias Smith's touchdown, because he returned his pick 47 yards to the end zone, putting the Crimson Tide up two scores midway through the second quarter, eventually sealing the victory because the Aggies couldn't recover after that.

"He made a big play," Saban said. "It is always great to get an interception when you are playing DB, even better to return it for a touchdown. D-Wright is a playmaker, but he is also a guy who has to stay focused on doing his job. That's something we will continue to work on." 

Texas A&M signal caller, Mond, was able to throw for 318 yards and three touchdowns on the Crimson Tide defense and Smith caught for 123 yards in the air for two scores while adding 29 yards on the ground. 

The Alabama front seven was able to the hold the Aggies rushing attack, which was the team's biggest strength entering today's contest, to only 115 yards on 30 carries, for an average of 3.8 yards an attempt. 

With all eyes on the next foe in front of the Crimson Tide, Ole Miss, Jones, who elevated himself in the Heisman conversation, has a message for the doubters. 

"Everyone wants to talk and say that 'Alabama isn't back," Jones said. "I think we have proved, through the first two games, that we are improving and we will continue to do that. 

"Just do your job every play, that's what I tell everybody. Don't make it emotional. Play with emotion but don't be emotional."