The University of Alabama has won a tense game against the only team to defeat them last season, the Texas A&M Aggies, on Saturday.
After receiving the ball, the Aggies began an assault on Alabama that saw them to an early lead. Quarterback Johnny Manziel pushed his offense down the field in 8 plays and covered 84 yards to the endzone in 2:38. The drive was finished off by a 1 yard pass to Cameron Clear. Taylor Bertolet added the extra point.
Alabama's first possession was was an ugly combination of ineffective plays and missteps, with the exclusion of one 7-yard rush by T.J. Yeldon. From their own 10-yard line, Bama was forced to punt without getting a first down. Texas A&M capitalized on the moment and covered 59 yards in 5 plays for another touchdown. The drive included a 34-yard Manziel pass to Mike Evans to the Alabama 1-yard line. The next play, Ben Malena rushed the final yard at 7:47 in the first quarter. Bertolet tacked on the extra point.
On their second time at offense, the Tide got their feet underneath them and started moving the ball. A good team effort gave the team 5 first downs in a 6-play drive for 75 yards. The drive ended with a 22-yard pass to Kevin Norwood into the endzone at 5:24. Cade Foster added the extra point.
After forcing an Aggie punt to end a 10-play drive, Alabama found their chance to tie the game up at the beginning of the second quarter. The 6 play drive was mostly composed of incomplete passes, but the two complete passes were the ones that mattered. One pass went to Amari Cooper for 21 yards and the second went to DeAndrew White for 44 yards into the endzone.
The following Aggie drive proved to be a frustrating stretch for Bama fans. At one point, the Alabama defense had a hand on Manziel on 3rd and 8, but the QB escaped and took his chances on a downfield pass. Aggie Edward Pope brought the ball down for the first down. Four plays later, Texas A&M was working to get into the endzone from the Bama 4-yard line. An interception by Alabama's Cyrus Jones in the endzone turned the momentum.
The necessary 80 yards for the score was covered in 4 plays by the Tide offense. A McCarron pass to O.J. Howard gained 27 yards and another pass to Kenny Bell gained a whopping 51 yards to give Alabama the lead.
The Aggies were held to 3 plays before punting. Alabama began a very methodical drive that drove them down the field in 11 plays. T.J. Yeldon, who proved to be a workhorse during the drive, got the touchdown with a 4-yard rush but received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the score due to an excessive celebration. Cade Foster's kick set the score at 28-14. Despite the 15-yard boost on the kickoff, A&M did not find a chance to score before the half.
Alabama's offense came out of the locker room looking much like their first series and punted after 3 plays. The second play of the A&M possession saw a Manziel pass knocked into the air and retrieved by Bama defender Vinnie Sunseri. Sunseri turned his feet upfield and went the 73 yards needed for the score. The extra point set the score at 35-14.
A&M found their way back to the endzone following the interception. The 9-play drive covered 58 yards in a steady drive. Manziel found Malcome Kennedy and landed a 14-yard touchdown pass in his arms. Taylor Bertolet's kick was good.
Alabama answered the TD with one of their own. The 10-play drive covered 83 yards with T.J. Yeldon making several successful rushes, but Kenyan Drake gained the touchdown with a 3-yard rush with 4:16 remaining in the 3rd quarter.
The Aggies continued to fight back in the 4th quarter. After making Alabama punt, A&M drove 80 yards in 4 plays and capped the drive off with a 12-yard pass to Malcome Kennedy in the endzone. Taylor Bertolet's kick set the score at 42-28.
Alabama began another long drive to attempt to keep the clock running. Yeldon rushed in all but one play during the drive, but happened to fumble the ball while trying to rush a single yard into the endzone. Aggie Shaan Washington recovered the ball at the 3-yard line. The Aggie offense grabbed the momentum and ran with it. The 3rd play of the possession saw Manziel throw a pass to Mike Evans, who broke free for a 95-yard touchdown. The extra point put A&M only a touchdown behind the Tide.
Alabama's next drive looked to bleed the clock. Using T.J. Yeldon to hammer down the field, Alabama pressed down for another touchdown in 9 plays. The final play opted for a short pass to Jalston Fowler for a 5-yard score with only 2:28 left in the game. Cade Foster's extra point put the score at 49-35.
The Aggies took their next drive and ran down to grab another touchdown that left 15 seconds on the clock. Malcome Kennedy grabbed the ball for the 4-yard touchdown pass. The onside kick was received by Alabama, who took a knee on the following play to end the game.
Next week, Alabama returns home to take on Colorado State. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.
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