A&M, unable to run the ball, was led by Mond who threw for 237 yards, completing 19 of 29. The Crimson Tide are favored by 26½ points, and the Aggies have only been bigger underdogs once at Kyle Field, against Oklahoma (27½ points) in 2008.
The true freshman from Austin led Texas from two 10-point deficits and a fourth quarter hole to overcome Kansas State, 40-34 in double overtime. "We knew that their linebackers liked to run side to side, so we knew as running backs we had to impress them, so one way to do that was cut back behind it and we would have a lot of success".
Hurts passed for two touchdowns and ran for a third in the first half of a 66-3 win last weekend over Mississippi. If not for Alabama having a solid 3-1 turnover advantage, this game could've gotten truly dicey by the end.
Even though the Aggies weren't able to come away victorious, they should come away confident.
"As a team, we don't pay attention to any of that", Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick said.
The former Crimson Tide offensive coordinator was rushed out of the program at the end of a year ago before the national title game, which Alabama went on to lose. "This is by far, I think, the strongest team we've played to this point all the way around", Saban told reporters of a slate that began with Florida State.
Insane crowd noise. A rare special teams break down.
The Aggies, without a timeout, managed to add a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Kellen Mond with 17 seconds left, only the second rushing score allowed by the Crimson Tide this season. Early indications from Las Vegas also has Alabama predicted as five touchdown favorites over Tennessee and almost four touchdown favorites over LSU.
Texas A&M had made a habit of second-half comebacks through the first part of the season. Alabama moved the ball down the field, but had to settle for a field goal after A&M sophomore defensive back Larry Pryor broke up Alabama sophomore quarterback Jalen Hurts' pass.
Rushing offense - B: Outside of Damien Harris' 75-yard touchdown run, Alabama's ground game didn't show much of the same flash as it had in previous games.
"Are we happy, are we pleased.?" "We are actually helicoptering him tonight to a hotel in College Station", Saban said.
Saban said he tried to get his team to listen during the week's preparation. "I would just call it a test rather than a reality check. If you get better every week, there's not a game that we can't win".
If A&M wants to upset the Tide, then they're going to have to deploy schemes that create separation from the Alabama D. If not, they will be reduced to taking shots downfield.
"There's a lot to learn, man". "Regardless of the score, there are still things we can learn from and improve from".
"We've got goals every week internally that we're trying to reach, and this team responds to that by getting a little bit better every week".
To Nick what happened in College Station, was more bad than good. "So we are looking forward to seeing how our players respond to this".
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