BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas —The headline may seem a little harsh, especially when looking strictly at the red zone stats.
Statbroadcast shows that Alabama was 5-6 in the red zone, which is true.
However, that one non-conversion and the field goals instead of touchdowns proved costly for the Crimson Tide in the 41-38 loss to Texas A&M.
Even though Nick Saban consistently harped on the talent of Texas A&M's defense throughout the week, particularly the front seven, the Alabama offense was still able to successfully drive down the field.
Alabama outgained Texas A&M 522-379, but because of two key possessions in the red zone, the Crimson Tide ultimately came up short in the most important category: the scoreboard.
"We certainly moved the ball well enough on offense yardage wise, but they stopped us in the red zone," Saban said. "We turned the ball over on the two-yard line with an opportunity to score.”
The turnover was an interception from Bryce Young on third-and-goal from the one less than two minutes into the second quarter. Young was willing to take all the blame for the mistake.
"I've just got to do a better job of making better decisions and making plays," Young said. "That's something we talk about a lot is executing whenever we're in the red zone, definitely can't turn it over."
After the missed opportunity, Alabama would not score another offensive touchdown until the 5:30 mark of the third quarter. By that point, the Crimson Tide was making a comeback and was only trailing by a touchdown.
The defense got stops on back-to-back possessions, and the offense drove down the field on two straight possessions except both ended in field goals instead of touchdowns.
When asked what went wrong in the red zone, Saban said he didn't know if it was necessarily that anything went wrong, but instead a lack of execution.
"So you can second guess everything that didn't work, but the issue is we just didn’t execute," Saban said.
One possession that Saban might be second guessing is the third and final field goal drive. Alabama had the ball first-and-goal from the three.
Brian Robinson Jr. had success running on that drive. However, once the Tide reached the goal situation, the offense passed the ball three straight times, only moving backwards.
Instead of taking a 34-31 lead over the Aggies, Alabama had to settle for a field goal and still trailed 31-30 in the fourth quarter.
Once again, it was a problem of execution according to Young. No matter what the play call, the offense still has to accomplish what the play calls is.
"It's on us as an offense to execute," Young said. "So it's not the play call, it's on us an offense to execute."
Whether the play call was questionable or not, the offense did not execute what was called, and it proved detrimental.
The Aggies would eventually win on a last-second game-winning field goal from Seth Small.
Texas A&M and Aggie quarterback Zach Calzada played an outstanding game. The Alabama players and coach gave them credit, but at the end of the day the lack of execution in the red zone will be something that lingers in the minds of the Alabama offense.