Alabama Survives The Aggies Without Bryce Young
The Alabama Crimson Tide (6-0, 3-0) was pushed to the brink of defeat by the Texas A&M Aggies (3-3, 1-2) but ultimately held on to stay unbeaten and exact revenge for its only regular season defeat in 2021. The Tide played without its Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, after Bryce Young was injured in the Arkansas matchup, and despite turning the football over four times Alabama held on to win 24-20.
Jalen Milroe played like the redshirt freshman, backup quarterback that he is, accounting for all three of Alabama's touchdowns via passing strikes to Cam Latu, Jermaine Burton and Ja'Corey Brooks, but Milroe was also responsible for three of the Tide's four turnovers.
Milroe finished his debut as a starter 12-of-19 for 111 yards with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. The Katy, Texas-native took 17 carries for 83 yards with 2 lost fumbles.
"We did a lot of things that are not winning football. You know, penalties, four turnovers, didn't take advantage of opportunities in the redzone. Came up empty-handed a couple times, whether it was missed field goals, didn't score a touchdown, whatever it might be. So we've got a lot of things that we can work on. We've got a lot of things that we can improve on," said Alabama head coach Nick Saban.
The Crimson Tide defense was outstanding throughout the game, limiting the Aggies to just 70 rushing yards and holding them just 29% on third-down. Alabama's pass rush was in Haynes King's face all evening, getting to the quarterback for three sacks and 14 quarterback hurries.
Alabama's defense gave up touchdown drives of 30 and 49 yards directly after Milroe lost fumbles in the second half but buckled down in the second half to only allow two made field goals, limiting the Aggies to just 20 points.
The Aggies targeted cornerback Terrion Arnold throughout the evening with his matchup against freshman Evan Stewart. Stewart had 8 receptions for 106 yards on 18 targets but it was Arnold who got the last laugh as he forced the final pass incomplete to seal the victory. Arnold, who's ascended into the second cornerback position this season, also got his first interception of the game.
The Crimson Tide will now head on the road to Knoxville to take on the undefeated Tennessee Volunteers. Nick Saban takes his 15-year winning streak over the Vols into Neyland Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 2:30 p.m. CT.