The Crimson Tide used its ground attack and a goal-line stand on the game’s final play to clinch its sixth-consecutive win to start the year
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 1/1 Alabama football team’s goal-line stand on the game’s final play allowed the Crimson Tide to hold off Texas A&M, 24-20, Saturday night inside a sold-out Bryant-Denny Stadium. Texas A&M had an opportunity to win it on the game’s final play, but quarterback Hayes King’s pass to the short corner of the endzone fell to the ground, moving the Tide to 6-0 on the year and 3-0 in SEC play.
For a second consecutive week, it was the Crimson Tide’s ground game that was the difference. After racking up 317 rushing yards in the win at Arkansas on Oct. 1, Alabama accounted for 293 total yards on the ground Saturday, led by running back Jahmyr Gibbs’ 154 yards on 21 carries.
Quarterback Jalen Milroe, who made his first career start in the contest, rushed for 83 yards on 17 carries while also adding 111 yards through the air on 11-of-19 throwing and three touchdown passes. Wide receiver Jermaine Burton led the Tide with 48 yards on three catches, including a touchdown, while wide receiver Ja’Corey Brooks tallied 44 yards on two receptions, including a touchdown.
Defensive back Brian Branch led the Alabama defensive unit with nine tackles including two tackles for loss and two pass breakups. Cornerback Terrion Arnold finished with eight tackles and an interception while defensive back DeMarcco Hellams finished with seven tackles. Linebacker Will Anderson Jr. had just two tackles including one for loss, however, his eight quarterback hurries were the second-most in a single game in program history.
Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban Said
“I think the fans were great, I think the fans probably had as much to do with us winning the game as anything. I think the atmosphere they created certainly kept the energy level up with our players, but we did a lot of things that were not winning football. (We had) penalties, four turnovers, didn’t take advantage of opportunities in the red zone, came up empty handed a couple of times whether we missed a field goal, didn’t score a touchdown, whatever it might be. So, we have a lot of things that we can work on. We got a lot of things we need to improve on. I think everybody’s got to make a choice and decision that they’re going to do the things they need to do to play the best that they can play and be the best player that they can be. That was not our best football out there tonight. When you don’t have your quarterback playing and the second team guy has got to play, everybody has to play better. Everybody on offense has to play better, everybody on defense has to play better. Jalen (Milroe) did some good things, but he obviously had a couple of turnovers. He’s going to live and learn, and we’re going to live and learn with him. And we’ll just see what kind of progress Bryce makes for the next week. But we’re going to play a really good team next week on the road and certainly have to play a lot better to have any chance of being successful.”
- With the victory, Alabama head coach Nick Saban earned his 100th victory inside Bryant-Denny Stadium (100-8, .926), a total that includes 69 wins in his last 72 home games
- Saban’s 100 home victories is first on the school’s all-time list in Bryant-Denny Stadium, bettering former head coach Paul “Bear” Bryant’s 72 wins in Tuscaloosa.
- Linebacker Will Anderson Jr. finished with a career-best eight quarterback hurries on the night
- The only Alabama player to earn more quarterback pressures than Anderson in a single game was Derrick Thomas who had nine quarterback hurries against Penn State on Oct. 22, 1988
- For the second consecutive game, running back Jahmyr Gibbs hit the century mark on the ground, finishing with 154 yards on 21 carries
- Over the Crimson Tide’s last two contests, Gibbs has accounted for 360 yards on 39 carries (9.2 yards per carry)
- Saban improved to 20-2 in his career at Alabama when avenging a previous loss to the same opponent
- Alabama entered the contest having allowed only 10 points in its first three home games before Texas A&M scored a 20
- In the second quarter of play alone, Alabama (17) and Texas A&M (14) combined for 31 of the game’s 44 points
- It was the first sellout in Bryant-Denny Stadium this season (100,077)
How It Happened
- No Scoring
- 11:39 – UA | The Tide put the first points on the board finishing off an eight-play, 74-yard drive that lasted 3:34 and was capped by a 10-yard touchdown pass from Jalen Milroe to Cameron Latu
- 06:33 – A&M | Hayes King found Moose Muhammed III for a five-yard pass and catch to even the score and cap a six-play, 30-yard drive that took just 2:35 off the clock
- 05:33 – UA | Alabama answered a minute later when Jermaine Burton caught a 35-yard touchdown pass from Milroe as the Tide moved 75 yards down the field in just three plays to regain the advantage
- 02:12 – A&M | The Aggies responded again by scoring off an Alabama turnover as Milroe’s second lost fumble of the quarter resulted in a four-play, 49-yard drive to even that game
- 00:12 – UA | Will Reichard ended the scoring in the quarter when he booted a 50-yard field goal to give the Tide a 17-14 lead heading into the locker rooms
- 13:03 – UA | Alabama scored on its first drive of the second half, taking the ball 75 yards on four plays in 1:57 with Ja’Corey Brooks taking a Milore pass 29 yards to the house
- 05:19 – A&M | Randy Bond connected on a 41-yard field goal to finish a five play, 39-yard drive that lasted 1:59
- 03:32 – A&M | Bond connected on a 46-yard field goal to cap a 53-yard, 11-play drive that took 5:43 off the play clock
- The No. 1/1 Alabama Crimson Tide will face No. 8/8 Tennessee next Saturday in the rivalry contest that takes place the third Saturday in October
- The Crimson Tide and Volunteers will kick off at 2:30 p.m. CT inside Neyland Stadium with the contest airing on CBS