Missouri Win Brought Back Tide-A&M Memory

Alabama’s 59-0 win over Texas A&M last Saturday was unexpected, but only in the sense of margin. Most expected the Crimson Tide to beat the Aggies at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. But for bizarre, the Bama game couldn’t come close to what happened in Gainesville.

Alabama certainly dominated Texas A&M Saturday, the Crimson Tide piling up 30 first downs to 8 and 602 total yards of offense to 172 for the Aggies.

Meanwhile, Florida managed to lose to Missouri by the astounding margin of 42-13 in Gainesville. It was astounding because the Tigers had only 7 first downs and 119 yards of total offense, including only 20 yards passing offense.

And why should the Missouri-Florida game be a part of Alabama vs. Texas A&M?

In general, there have been several surprising results in the rather brief Bama-Aggies hisxtory. The teams have played only seven times and there have been quite a few so-called upsets. When Gene Stallings was coach of the Aggies, Texas A&M upset Alabama, coached by Paul Bryant, in the 1968 Cotton Bowl. In A&M’s first year in the Southeastern Conference in 2012, the Ags set the stage for Johnny Manziel by taking down what would be a national championship Crimson Tide, 29-24. In 1985, Alabama elected not to play its scheduled game in College Station because of a hurricane threat in the Gulf of Mexico, and the game was played later in the year. The Aggies were expected to romp in the Hurricane Bowl, but Bama beat Jackie Sherrill’s A&M team, 30-10. Last year was one of the highest scoring games in Alabama history, the Tide eventually prevailing by 49-42.

Alabama leads the series 5-2.

And the Missouri-Florida game brought to mind the first of those seven games because Missouri scored touchdowns on a punt return, kickoff return, interception return, and fumble return.

That first Bama-Ags meeting came in the Cotton Bowl at the end of the 1941 season. Although most of the attention was on World War II rather than college football, the Bama-A&M game drew some interest.

Alabama won the game, 29-21.

Bama had only one first down in the game. One. The Aggies had 13.

The Tide’s total offense was 75 yards. Texas A&M had 309.

Alabama completed one pass, the Ags 13.

Alabama ran just 33 plays, Texas A&M 81.

And yet Alabama had a 29-7 lead midway through the fourth quarter and held on to win.

How did it happen?

Alabama intercepted seven passes and recovered five Aggies fumbles. A dozen turnovers for A&M.

Alabama star left halfback (in the Notre Dame box offense, equivalent of quarterback) Jimmy Nelson executed a nice reverse for a touchdown, made an interception that stopped an Aggies drive, ran back a kickoff 72 yards for a touchdown, and ran 21 yards for a touchdown (following an A&M fumble). Holt Rast scored the final Bama touchdown, taking an interception back 12 yards.

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