COLLEGE STATION, Texas – For the second time this season, Texas A&M squared off against the top-ranked team in the nation.
For the second time, the Aggies come up short.
No. 1 Alabama found their stride late in the first quarter and dominated the 24th-ranked Aggies at Kyle Field, 47-28. The loss sends Texas A&M back to .500 with a 3-3 overall record at the halfway point of the season.
“They took advantage of all three phases of the game,” said head coach Jimbo Fisher. “That’s why they are number one.”
The Aggies began the game with, arguably, their best opening drive of the season, marching 75 yards in 10 plays. Junior quarterback Kellen Mond capped the 8-minute drive with a 1-yard touchdown plunge to give the Aggies a 7-0 lead. Despite five sacks and looking a little hobbled after the game, Mond was the A&M’s leading rusher, finishing with 16 carries for 90 yards.
“You know, I feel pretty good.” Mond said. “But obviously more runs definitely take a big toll on you.”
Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw for 4 touchdowns and 293 yards. He was given great field position by the Alabama special teams, which produced 128 yards on punt returns. The unit also blocked a punt that was returned for a touchdown.
But the game changer, according to Fisher, was the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty given to wide receiver Kendrick Rogers, who thought Alabama should have been called for pass interference late in the third quarter with the Aggies trailing 34-20. Rogers appeared to say something to the official after the play was over.
“I don’t know what happened,” said Fisher when asked about the incident. “It didn’t look like it was an argument, whatever you say. You’re in a two score game in a big situation. It had a big effect on the game.”
Texas A&M drops to 1-2 in the SEC while Alabama improves to 6-0 overall, 3-0 in conference. The Aggies kick off the second half of the season on the road next Saturday at Ole Miss.