WATCH VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS | OWN THIS GAME
By Scott Crumbly
SEC Digital Network
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Texas A&M has certainly made waves in its first season in the Southeastern Conference, but the Aggies triggered a tsunami on Saturday night by taking down No. 1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa, 29-24. Bama and A&M traded haymakers for much of the afternoon, but a goal line stand from the Aggies defense late in the game ultimately proved to be the difference in the outcome.
After a scorching hot start from TAMU (8-2, 5-2 SEC) that included 187 first quarter yards and a 20-0 lead early on, Alabama stormed back in the second quarter with two scores of its own cut the deficit to six at the half. A&M, which started fast before faltering in the second half in each of its two losses this year, appeared to be on the ropes despite finding the end zone on each of its first three possessions.
Alabama tacked on a field goal in the third to make the score 20-17, setting up a display of fireworks that broke out in the decisive fourth quarter.
Texas A&M held a six-point advantage after a Taylor Bertolet field goal, and then Johnny Manziel and Co. struck the Tide (9-1, 6-1) with two huge pass plays – one for 42 yards to Ryan Swope, the other a 54-yard TD to Malcome Kennedy – to put Bama in a two-score hole. AJ McCarron answered with a bomb of his own to set up a Tide score. On the following drive, another long McCarron pass put Alabama inside the 10-yard line trailing by five. The Aggies defense stood up to the challenge, however, and recorded an interception on fourth and goal to turn back the Tide.
Johnny Football turned in a great day for A&M, throwing for 253 yards and a score and adding a team-best 92 yards on the ground. Swope ended the evening with 111 yards and a touchdown, while Bama’s Amari Cooper led all receivers with 136 yards and a score. The Aggie D managed two interceptions off McCarron, the first two picks of the 2012 season for the Tide signal-caller.
Passing – AJ McCarron, 21-for-34, 309 yards, TD, 2 INT
Rushing – Eddie Lacy, 16 car, 92 yards, TD
Receiving – Amari Cooper, 6 rec, 136 yards, TD
Passing – Johnny Manziel, 24-for-31, 253 yards, 2 TD
Rushing – Johnny Manziel, 18 car, 92 yards
Receiving – Ryan Swope, 11 rec, 111 yards, TD
· Saturday’s broadcast on CBS was the first time that Texas A&M has appeared on the network since the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 1, 1998.
· The Aggies’ 165 rushing yards were the most that Alabama has surrendered this season, breaking LSU’s mark of 139 from a week ago.
· The loss will knock Alabama off its perch atop the polls, presumably ending the Tide’s school-record streak of 10 straight weeks at No. 1 in the Associated Press poll.