The Alabama Crimson Tide saw defeat for the first time this season after facing the Texas A&M Aggies on Saturday.
The Aggies started off the scoring on their first possession, just four and a half minutes into the game. A 9-play drive ran over the Crimson Tide defense and put Texas A&M's Christine Michael across the goal line at the 10:34 mark. Taylor Bertolet's kick was good.
Alabama's second possession held a bad omen for the Tide. Quarterback A.J. McCarron, who had not thrown an interception since last year's game against Mississippi State, was intercepted by Aggie Sean Porter and returned to the Alabama 41 yard line. The Aggie offense took only 4 plays to get to the endzone. Johnny Manziel's first pass covered 32 yards and three plays later, Manziel found Ryan Swope in the endzone and connected with him despite bobbling the ball at the snap. Bertolet's second kick of the night was good.
Texas A&M was not through scoring in the 1st quarter. Alabama saw another 3 and out on their next possession. The Aggies returned the punt to their own 27 yard line and then began a 14-play drive through the Bama defense. Aggie Christine Michael got his second touchdown of the game with 41 seconds remaining. Bertolet's missed extra point put the score at 20-0 at the end of the 1st quarter.
Alabama waited until the second quarter to begin their scoring. The Tide offense began pushing back with a 13-play drive covering 75 yards to the endzone. T.J. Yeldon grabbed the touchdown with a 2-yard drive right around the 10 minute mark. Jeremy Shelley's extra point was good.
The Tide defense forced the Aggies to down after a 13-play drive to the Alabama 32 yard line. The good field position allowed the Tide offense to hammer down the field in 10 plays for their second touchdown. A series of A.J. McCarron passes pushed the drive forward, but Eddie Lacy got the touchdown after rushing two yards through the Aggie defense. Jeremy Shelley kicked the extra point. Going into the locker room, the Tide was trailing by just 6 points with a score of 20-14.
In the 3rd quarter, both defenses tightened up, but Alabama was the first team to add points to the board. After forcing A&M to punt from inside their own 11 yard line, Alabama found themselves with a starting field position just on the far side of the 50 yard line. The Tide offense drove for 10 plays down the field, but were stopped at the 11 yard line at 4th and 2. Jeremy Shelley took the field and kicked a 28-yard field goal to bring the score to 20-17.
Texas A&M negated Alabama's field goal with one of their own in the beginning of the 4th quarter. A long 16-yard drive ended with the Aggies facing 4th and 6 at the Alabama 11 yard line. Bertolet kicked the field goal and brought the score to 23-17. Alabama was kept to another 3 and out and punted away. The Aggies then drove down the field and were held to a field goal attempt at the 19-yard line. Fortunately for Alabama, Taylor Bertolet missed the attempt.
The opportunity afforded to Alabama did not last long. An amazing pass by A.J. McCarron to Amari Cooper gained the Tide 50 yards to the A&M 38, but a fumble on the next play by T.J. Yeldon gave the Aggies the ball. Two Johnny Manziel passes covered the 66 yards to the endzone and gave the Aggies gained another touchdown. The attempt at the two point conversion failed, but left the score at 29-17.
The Tide refused to give up and began a drive with A.J. McCarron landing pass after pass. Amari Cooper was the player to get the touchdown after getting a 54-yard pass from McCarron with a little over 6 minutes remaining in the game. Shelley's extra point put the score at 29-24.
Alabama's defense put the Aggie offense away following the score and the Bama offense worked to get to the endzone as the time faded from the clock. The drive saw the Crimson Tide push down to the red zone, but attempts to get the score ended with an interception on 4th and goal. This ended the chance of scoring, giving the Crimson Tide a 29-24 loss.
Next week, the Crimson Tide goes on to play West Carolina. Kickoff is set for 11:21 a.m.