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Alabama Crimson Tide Football: Tide Struggles To Win Over Aggies

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The Crimson Tide traveled to College Station with one goal in mind: dominate every play. That plan was not executed to fruition, as Alabama struggled to a 27-19 victory over the upstart Aggies, who many underrated coming into the game.

The Aggies, led by Coach Kevin Sumlin, had won four games in a row after the heartbreaking season opener loss to UCLA in Los Angeles, and they showed that they were much better than that performance showed. After a long 52-yard field goal by Texas A&M kicker Daniel LaCamera, Damien Harris took a zone right look on the first play of the ensuing drive, made one jump cut, and raced 75 yards for an early 7-3 lead.

Harris finished the day with 14 carries for 124 yards and one touchdown. Following a Tide 40-yard field goal by Andy Pappanastos, Trayveon Williams fumbled on the A&M 43-yard line. 4 plays later, Alabama was back in the end zone thanks to a Jalen Hurts designed run around the right side. The rout really appeared to be on when Alabama received the second-half kickoff and marched straight down the field, taking 9 plays to go 75 yards, capping it off with an 8-yard touchdown pass from Jalen Hurts to true freshman Henry Ruggs III.

However, the rout most certainly was not on, as A&M recaptured momentum following a Robert Foster fumble on the Tide 36. Kellen Mond hit Damion Ratley for a 32-yard completion down to the Tide 3-yard line, but some mismanagement on the goal line, along with a costly penalty, forced A&M into a fourth-down situation. Mond channeled his inner Johnny Manziel, finding Christian Kirk along the side of the endzone for an incredible sideline catch in the endzone for A&M’s first touchdown of the game.

A&M proceeded to get the ball back with good field position after a shanked punt by Alabama punter J.K. Scott. The Aggies drove down to the goal line with a chance to make it a one-score game, but Mond had his pass intercepted by All-SEC safety Minkah Fitzpatrick at the 2-yard line. Following the interception, Alabama struggled to get out of the shadow of their own endzone, forcing a punt from the back of their own endzone, which was blocked by Cullen Gillaspina, who dons the #12 jersey for A&M, which has long been heralded as the star special-teams player who embodies the core values of the 12th man that the Aggie faithful claim with such pride.

A&M received the ball back from the safety free kick, but was forced to punt, allowing Alabama to take the air out of the football. Upon receiving the ball back from A&M, Alabama did what they’ve been known to do for a long time, which is make the game boring by taking the air out of the football. Alabama ran the ball eight out of ten plays, picking up huge chunks of yardage on a 17-yard pass and catch from Hurts to freshman Jerry Jeudy and a 15-yard penalty on a pass-interference call on A&M in the end zone, which prevented Robert Foster from catching what would have most likely been the game-clinching touchdown.

After running off nearly 5 minutes of the game clock, Pappanastos lined up a 44-yard field goal, which he nailed from the right hash to put Bama ahead by 15 with 2:09 left. Mond and the Aggies went straight back down the field to score with about 20 seconds left, but it was all for naught, as Alabama recovered the onside kick (and nearly took it back for a touchdown) and proceeded to take a knee in the victory formation to take the 27-19 victory home to Tuscaloosa.

The victory for the Tide moves them to 6-0 on the year, 3-0 in conference, while Texas A&M falls to 4-2, 2-1 in conference. Alabama returns home for week 7 to play Arkansas for homecoming, while Texas A&M travels to Florida for their cross-divisional rotation game.

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