Alabama football faced Texas A&M on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Jalen Milroe started at quarterback for Bryce Young.
Alabama football seemed to want the 100,007 fans in attendance for the highly-anticipated Texas A&M game to get their money’s worth.
The Crimson Tide found ways throughout Saturday night to make it more of a game of it than it should have been.
Alabama’s propensity to give the football to the Aggies frequently killed momentum for the Crimson Tide. Really, Texas A&M didn’t have much of an offense unless Alabama turned the football over.
Fortunately for the Aggies, the Crimson Tide − playing without injured Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young at quarterback − had plenty of turnovers. Three in the first half alone and four overall.
Still, Alabama found a way to overcome its turnovers and two missed kicks to emerge with a win, hanging on to defeat Texas A&M 24-20 at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
The defense bent on the final drive, but it didn't break, keeping the Aggies out of the end zone on the final play with the Aggies at the 2-yard line after a pass interference call. A pass attempt sailed incomplete to end it.
Here are observations and takeaways from the game between No. 1 Alabama (6-0, 3-0 SEC) and Texas A&M (3-3, 1-2).
Jalen Milroe puts together wild first startThere was plenty of good. There was also plenty of bad.
Backup quarterback Milroe, playing in Young's place, showed flashes of brilliance at times. His ability to run, which was well-known, showed up again against the Aggies. His 33-yard run in the first half set up Alabama’s first touchdown, which Milroe threw to tight end Cameron Latu.
Milroe wasn’t done in the first half either. He tossed another touchdown later in the second quarter, hitting Jermaine Burton on a slant pass that the Georgia transfer turned into a 35-yard score.
Milroe threw another touchdown on the first drive of the second half, but those first-half moments prevented the first two quarters from being a total disaster for the Crimson Tide.
Milroe turned the football over three times in the first half alone. Twice, he held onto the ball in the pocket for too long, and the Aggies were able to force fumbles they recovered.
Both Texas A&M first-half touchdowns resulted from those strip-sacks.
Milroe then underthrew Burton on a deep pass late in the second quarter that resulted in an interception. The defense prevented that from resulting in any points, though, as Terrion Arnold intercepted a third-down pass.
Then, when Alabama just needed a first down to close out the game, Milroe and the offense went three-and-out with three straight running plays that weren't enough for the first.
Milroe has shown that he can be a dynamic quarterback, but his lack of experience as an SEC starter shown through at times with some of the mistakes he made. He passed for 111 yards and the three scores and ran for 83 more yards.
Outside linebackers frequently disrupt Haynes KingTexas A&M’s quarterback is going to have nightmares for days of Will Anderson Jr., Dallas Turner and Chris Braswell.
It started from the beginning of Anderson relentlessly chasing King. Anderson never quite got home in the first few drives, but King had to find a way to slip out of his grasp on multiple occasions.
Despite his seemingly relentless pursuit of Haynes, Anderson never sacked the Aggies quarterback in the first half. Braswell and Turner did, though.
At the end of the first quarter, Braswell turned in his first-half sack. Turner had two in the second quarter alone.
Then, on a fourth-down attempt in the fourth quarter, Anderson rattled King into throwing an incompletion.
Texas A&M’s offensive tackles looked like turnstiles half the time against perhaps Alabama’s most dominant position group.
Defensive tackle Jaheim Oatis shows he can make plays all overOatis does much more than just take up space in the middle of the defense.
Sure, he can do that well. He’s a mountain of a man, listed at 6-foot-5, 348 pounds. But as he has shown in other games and the Texas A&M game in particular, he can make all kinds of plays.
It’s frankly frightening to think of how fast he can move for a man of his size. There was one point in the second quarter when Oatis tracked Devon Achane, the Aggies’ speedy running back, from behind and tackled him after a 7-yard gain.
Later in the second quarter, Oatis also batted a pass at the line of scrimmage.
It’s clear Oatis has the ability to wreck opposing offenses. He’s going to continue to be a problem for Alabama's opponents.