photo: Kevin C Cox/Getty Images
This was the game everybody has been anticipating since Johnny Manziel and the Aggies went to Bryant-Denny Stadium last season and upset the eventual National Champion Crimson Tide. After the Tide dismantled Notre Dame and won their second straight title, this game was circled on most calendars around the college football world. Would the game live up to the hype and could Johnny Manziel lead the Aggies to a second straight win over the Tide?
Texas A&M roared out to a quick 14-0 lead and they looked like they would roll to victory. The Aggies went 84 yards in 7 plays in their first drive and then went 59 yards in 5 plays. The Aggies looked like the real deal.
Texas A&M making this look so easy.— Kevin McGuire (@KevinOnCFB) September 14, 2013
As often happens, Nick Saban made some in-game adjustments and Alabama started to get their act together. Alabama went on a 75 yard drive that saw AJ McCarron complete four passes out of five including a 22 yarder to Kevin Norwood to get the Tide on the board. Alabama continued to pour it on A&M as the offense clicked and Manziel threw two interceptions including one that was returned by Vinnie Sunseri for a TD. The Tide went from being left for dead to leading 35-14 in a gigantic reversal of fortune.
While A&M was down, they weren't out. They battled back bolstered by three Manziel second half TD passes including a 95 yard bomb to his favorite target Mike Davis. The Aggies showed heart and guts but Alabama put them away with their running attack late in the game as they ate up clock with a drive of 4:38 (that ended with a fumble on the goal line) and a drive of 5:36 that ended with a Jalston Fowler five yard TD reception that essentially iced the game for the Crimson Tide.
The game did live up to the hype. Both teams looked dominant at times and both teams showed their warts but this was a fun roller-coaster of a game that left the Aggies on the outside looking in (and still playing the part of the bridesmaid) and Alabama standing in the winners circle ready to take on all comers as they try to defend their Championship.
What's next for A&M: Can the Aggies fix the defense or will they simply be forced to outscore their foes for the rest of the year? They host SMU next week before heading on the road to face Arkansas on Sept 28th.
What's next for Bama: Alabama will be licking some wounds as they gave up over 600 yards of total offense to the Aggies but they won and that's all that matters at this point in the season. Now 2-0 the Tide host Colorado State next week before Hugh Freeze and Ole Miss come to town on Sept 28th.