TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Top-ranked Alabama thumped No. 6 Texas A&M 33-14 in front of a packed Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday and in the process extended its winning streak to 20 games.
The Crimson Tide (8-0, 5-0 SEC) got three total touchdowns from quarterback Jalen Hurts while dispatching the Aggies (6-1, 4-1).
“I was really proud of the way our players, after going down 14-13, played in the second half,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “After we got in that position, I thought it was great competitive character on their part to persevere. We scored on offense, scored on defense, controlled the ball, and played better on defense.”
Texas A&M struck on its opening drive of the second half to move ahead.
Quarterback Trevor Knight threw a perfect pass to the back of the end zone to wide receiver Christian Kirk for a 25-yard touchdown. That gave the Aggies a 14-13 lead early in the third quarter.
Alabama responded on its ensuing drive to regain control. Hurts found wide receiver Calvin Ridley for a 4-yard touchdown to make it 20-14 midway through the third quarter.
Alabama’s defense added a touchdown late in the third quarter to push the lead to 26-14. Johnathan Allen returned a fumble 30 yards for a score.
Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said playing Alabama takes narrows a team’s margin for error.
“It does by a lot, and that was our discussion in there,” Sumlin said. “We’re going to be in some situations like that from here on out, and hopefully we learn from that. Any tight ballgame against a team like that, that is an elite team. You can’t flinch, and we did.”
Early in the fourth quarter, Hurts found the end zone on a 37-yard run. Hurts’ score pushed Alabama’s lead to 33-14.
“He’s a great rusher — we knew that,” Texas A&M defensive back Justin Evans said. “He’s the second leading rusher on the team so we knew what he could do. He got out a few times and he hurt us.”
Hurts rushed for 93 yards on 21 carries and completed 15 of 25 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns. Alabama running back Damien Harris rushed for 128 yards on 17 carries.
Alabama clung to a 13-7 lead at halftime.
The Crimson Tide’s opening drive showed promise after Harris and Hurts ripped off big runs on the first two plays.
But the drive stalled and Alabama settled for a 32-yard field goal from kicker Adam Griffith to make it 3-0.
Alabama’s second drive ended in similar fashion. This time, Griffith drilled a 28-yard field goal to push the Tide’s lead to 6-0.
Alabama’s third drive produced a touchdown. The Crimson Tide marched down the field with ease, and Hurts capped the drive with a 5-yard touchdown pass to tight end O.J. Howard to make it 13-0 early in the second quarter.
“It was a great team win for us,” Howard said. “I think our team did a great job and kept competing no matter what happened. A game full of adversity. We overcame that. We put it all together to get the win.”
Things looked bleak for the Aggies for much of the opening half, but that quickly turned after Griffith missed a field goal attempt.
The Aggies drove down the field with Knight capping the march with a 9-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Josh Reynolds to make it 13-7 right before the half. Knight finished 14-of-31 passing for 164 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
NOTES: Alabama RG Alphonse Taylor (concussion) dressed for the game but did not start. … Texas A&M’s Donovan Wilson was ejected for targeting late in the second quarter. Wilson hit Alabama RB Damien Harris in the helmet when Harris was trying to make a tackle following an interception. … Alabama S Eddie Jackson left the game late in the fourth quarter after being twisted up on a tackle on his punt return. Alabama coach Nick Saban said Jackson is out for the season with a fractured leg.