At this point in the season, the top of the SEC has been more or less established as Alabama and either Georgia or Auburn in some order trailing the Crimson Tide. Who might be the fourth-best team in the league though?
Based on Saturday night’s result, Texas A&M may very well lay claim to that spot.
Sure the Aggies lost to the No. 1 team in the country 27-19 but that slimmer-than-expected margin is pretty notable considering the Tide beat their past two conference foes by a combined 125-3. If Alabama is the measuring stick, A&M measured up pretty well for a young team in defeat all things considered.
After all, Nick Saban was bright red several times throughout the night as his juggernaut of a team looked fairly mortal, especially on offense. The Tide turned the ball over for the first time all season, trailed for 13 seconds early, allowed the Aggies’ famous 12th man to block a J.K. Scott punt for safety and gave up a touchdown for the first time in three weeks. Were it not for two fumbles and a goal line interception by Minkah Fitzpatrick, it could have been a downright close call for the team on a day where one top three team already went down and another saw their quarterback hurt.
Quarterback Jalen Hurts did not have the sharpest of outings but still did plenty enough to capture the victory, throwing for 123 yards (one touchdown) and rushing for another 56 on the ground with a score as well. Damien Harris was the lead tailback and rightfully so, ripping off a 75-yard touchdown to take back the lead in the first quarter and finishing the game with 124 yards on just 14 carries.
On the other sideline, freshman quarterback Kellen Mond had his best game of the season when you factor in the competition. While he wasn’t quite Johnny Football in slaying a giant, he was pretty solid outside of two turnovers and finished with 237 yards passing and a touchdown while scrambling for another 14 yards and a score on a night where the running lanes were hard to come by.
In the end though, it was yet another Alabama victory as they stayed perfect on the season and won their 70th in a row to an unranked team. The biggest winner when all is said and done however, might just be Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin, who is as embattled as any coach in the country and just might have the second best team in the division after an effort like that.