Tide Scores And Scores And Scores; Ags Don’t

Alabama Coach Nick Saban thinks of everything. If Crimson Tide punter JK Scott is going to earn a letter this year, Saban probably figured, he’d better let Scott do something in addition to punt. So after Bama’s sixth score in six opportunities in the first half, Saban let Scott kick off. And in the fourth quarter kick a PAT.

Alabama got two touchdowns each from T.J. Yeldon, Derrick Henry, and Amari Cooper and cruised to a 59-0 victory over Texas A&M in Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday. Blake Sims passed for three touchdowns and ran for one and Jake Coker completed a touchdown pass to Ty Flourney-Smith.

The Crimson Tide, ranked seventh going into the game, improved to 6-1 overall and 3-1 in Southeastern Conference games. The Aggies, ranked 21st going into the game, suffered their third consecutive SEC loss at the hands of a ranked team and fell to 5-3 overall and 2-3 in SEC games.

After being home for the first time in three weeks, Bama is back on the road for an SEC game at Tennessee next Saturday. Kickoff will be at either 6:15 or 6:30 p.m. CDT.

Yeldon had 10 rushes for 114 yards and two touchdowns and Henry 10 carries for 70 yards and one touchdown on the ground before they retired for the day early in the third quarter. Sims, who also went out early in the third period, completed 16 of 27 passes for 268 yards, three TDs, and no interceptions. Cooper had eight catches for 140 yards and two touchdowns, Yeldon three catches for 45 yards, DeAndrew White three for 30, and Henry one for a 41-yard touchdown.

Scott ended up punting four times for a 50-yard average.

Defensively, Ryan Anderson was in on six tackles (four primary) including a tackle for loss. Nick Perry had five primary tackles and broke up two passes. Gene Smith had five primaries and caused a fumble. Reuben Fostr was a terror on kickoff coverage and finished with five tackles, four primary, and had a sack. Reggie Ragland was in on five tackles, including one for loss and shared a sack, and had an interception, the only turnover in the game.

Although Alabama Coach Nick Saban has said that sacks don’t matter (and the Tide has not been a great sack team under Saban), on Saturday eight Bama players were a part of six sacks that resulted in 27 yards in losses.

Final team statistics were not as brutal as the first half presaged, but were as one-sided as one might expect in a 59-0 game.

Alabama had 30 first downs, Texas A&M 8. Bama had 45 rushes for 298 net yards, the Aggies 24 runs for 31 net yards. The Tide completed 21 of 35 passes for 304 yards, A&M 19-31 for 141 yards.

In addition to its volume, the Alabama balance of 298 rush and 304 pass totaled 602 yards on 80 plays, 7.5 yards per play. A&M had 55 plays for 172 yards, 3.1 yards per play.

The most incredible statistic line in the game: Penalties. Texas A&M 2 for 6 yards, Alabama 0-0.

Bama had a 13-minute advantage in time of possession, 36:31 to 23:29.

Alabama was good on 9-15 third down plays and its only fourth down try, while A&M was good on 2-13 on third down, 0-2 on fourth down tries.

Alabama’s first half performance was almost flawless. The Tide had the ball for seven possessions and scored six touchdowns and one field goal to take a 45-0 halftime lead. At the half Bama had 22 first downs to A&M’s two. The Tide had rushing yardage of 226 to the Aggies nine carries for zero yards. Even passing the great fear when playing Texas A&M, was solidly in Alabama’s favor, Bama 15 of 26 for 223 yards, the Aggies 9-14 for 51 yards. That made it 449 yards to 51. At intermission, we remind you.

Alabama opened the game with four consecutive pass completions, including gains of 17 yards to DeAndrew White and 28 yards to Cooper, to move to the Texas A&M 25. Helped by a personal foul against the visitors, Bama had a first and goal at the six, but had to eventually settle for a 21-yard Adam Griffith field goal with 3:53 gone in the first quarter.

The next seven possessions would go for touchdowns as Bama built a 52-0 lead in the early stages of the third quarter. Bama’s J.K. Scott would not have his first punt until 7:08 remained in the third quarter when back-ups were in the game on offense.

A nine-yard Yeldon run and Griffith extra point completed an 11-play, 72-yard drive that gave Bama a 10-0 lead with 4:38 remaining in the first quarter. Sims completed three third-down passes to keep the drive going.

Alaama got the ball for its third possession with just over three minutes to go in the first quarter and finished it off a minute into the second period when Yeldon went in from the one on a fourth-and-goal. Yeldon had a 17-yard pass reception and a 31-yard run in the 10-play, 84-yard drive that made it 17-0.

A poor Texas A&M punt was followed by a rapid Alabama touchdown drive that made it 24-0. The drive didn’t start well with two incomplte passes, but on a third down Sims fired a bullet to Cooper who made a fine catch for a 21-yard gain to the Texas A&M 43. On the next play Sims started left, then broke around right end and went 43 yards for a touchdown. The “drive” took only 45 seconds and it was 24-0.

Yeldon had runs of 25 and 11 and an 11-yard pass reception as the Tide went 80 yards in 11 plays to a 31-0 lead. The score came on a first-and-goal eight-yard run up the middle by Derrick Henry.

For those who had been wondering what has happened to Christion Jones as punt returner, may he’s back. A Texas A&M punt was returned 48 yards to the A&M 24 with just over four minutes remaining in the half. It took just one play, a fade route to Cooper, for the touchdown and a 38-0 lead.

By then, Scott was kicking off.

Alabama got the ball one final time in the first half, at its own 40 with 2:13 to play. Henry had a 13-yard gain to jump start it and took a short screen pass from Sims and raced 41 yards for a touchdown with just 22 seconds until halftime.

Bama had a 45-0 lead at intermission.

The second half would have only two scores, both by Bama.

The first was by the first offense on its first possession. It took only three plays from the Bama 43. Henry had a couple of runs for a first down at the A&M 45 and then Sims hit Cooper, who was behind the secondary, on a 45-yard touchdown to make it 52-0.

From that point on, it was back-up players on offense and mostly back-up on defense.

Texas A&M seemed poised to break the shutout when weakside linebacker Reggie Ragland leaped high in the air on pass rush and managed to hold onto the ball for an interception at the Alabama 18 near the end of the third quarter.

Midway through the fourth quarter, back-up quarterback Jake Coker directed a nine-play, 57-yard drive for the final score. Tyren Jones had a 12-yard run and Coker finished it with a 14-yard pass to tight end Ty Flourney-Smith. Scott kicked the extra point, which was the final point of the game.

Texas A&M ran the ensuing kickoff back to Bama’s 23, but the Tide defense held and then Alabama ran out the clock.

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