No. 10 Tide rolls past No. 9 Ag­gies

The Washington Post Sunday - - SPORTS - BY KRISTIE RIEKEN

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.”

SAM CRAFT/THE BRYAN-COL­LEGE STA­TION (TEX.) EA­GLE VIA AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

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.

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