No. 10 Tide rolls past No. 9 Aggies
college station, tex.—Alabama kept scoring on passes—all thrown by Texas A&M.
Quarterback Jake Coker was just fine with that.
“Three touchdowns defensively is hard to beat,” he said. “I will take that any day.”
Derrick Henry ran for a careerhigh 236 yards and two scores, and No. 10 Alabama added a school-record three touchdowns on interception returns to get a 4123 win over No. 9 Texas A&M on Saturday.
Alabama(6-1,3-1Southeastern Conference) built a 28-6 lead in the second quarter thanks to 55and six-yard touchdown runs by Henry and interception returns of 33 and 93 yards.
Christian Kirk returned a punt 68 yards for a score just before halftime and Texas A&M (5-1, 2-1) added another touchdown on a three-yard reception by Ricky Seals-Jones after a fumble early in the third to cut it to 28-20.
But Alabama kicked two field goals before Minkah Fitzpatrick’s 55-yard interception return for a score — his second of the day — made it 41-23 and sealed the victory.
“We had a lot of guys play a lot of plays,” Alabama Coach Nick Saban said. “They got hot, they got tired and we got our second wind and kept playing.”
Texas A&M’s Kyle Allen, who entered the game having thrown 79 passes without an interception, was 20 of 40 for 263 yards with a touchdown and a careerhigh three interceptions. Freshman Kyler Murray took over for a few possessions and was also picked off.
“You can’t play the way we did tonight by giving away 21 points against a quality football team and expect to win,” Aggies Coach Kevin Sumlin said.
Texas A&M got within 34-23 with a 36-yard field goal with about eight minutes left. The Aggies were driving again after a stop on defense when Fitzpatrick became the first player in Crimson Tide history to return two interceptions for touchdowns in a game.
“Three scores on defense is unprecedented probably and some kind of record,” Saban said. “Minkah with two is fantastic for the freshman.”
Henry, who extended his school record by scoring in his 12th straight game, had already surpassed his previous careerbest of 148 yards rushing with 10 minutes left in the second quarter and had 178 at halftime.
“You have to say a lot about the offensive line,” Saban said. “They did a good job of creating holes, and Derrick took advantage of them . Derrick is a workhorse for us.”
Said Henry: “I focus on the game and trying to win. I didn’t care about the yards. I was trying to do all I can do to help us win the game.”
Alabama’s Derrick Henry, here getting past Texas A&M’s Richard Moore on a six-yard TD run, racked up a career-best 236 yards rushing.