During the 2016 Alabama football season, The Crimson White’s Terrin Waack will provide select stellar stats, obscure facts and notable quotes from the most recent game to take readers Behind the Process.
No. 1 Alabama defeated No. 6 Texas A&M, 33-14, at home in Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday.
Alabama tight end O.J. Howard played his best game since last season’s national championship performance against Clemson when he totaled a game-high 208 receiving yards. The senior finished Saturday with eight receptions for 69 yards and a second-quarter touchdown. For the fourth time this season, running back Damien Harris surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark. The sophomore wracked up a game-high 125 yards on the ground and easily plowed through Texas A&M’s defensive line.There have been 14 Alabama players who have made a starting debut this season. Junior defensive back Hootie Jones had his moment against Texas A&M. He’s likely to continue starting considering the hit Alabama’s roster took (check injury update below).After defeating Texas A&M, it was Alabama coach Nick Saban’s 100th career win against SEC opponents. Despite missing a second-quarter 29-yard attempt, Adam Griffith slid into fifth on Alabama’s career field goal list after drilling kicks of 32 and 28 yards away during the first quarter to reach 46 total.
Alabama saw its first targeting call of the season, but it wasn’t against the Crimson Tide. During the second quarter, Texas A&M defensive back Donovan Wilson drilled Alabama running back Damien Harris. The play was reviewed, and ultimately Wilson was kicked out of the game.Griffith almost had to attempt a 58-yard field goal before halftime. It originally was 53 yards, but a penalty against Alabama pushed it back another five yards. At that point, Alabama decided to not risk it and put its offense back on the field. Griffith was 2-for-3 with field goals by end game. Texas A&M quarterback Trevor Knight was a familiar face for Alabama. He played for Oklahoma in 2014 and helped the Sooners defeat the Crimson Tide, 45-31, in the Sugar Bowl. With Texas A&M’s offense, Knight accumulated the exact same amount of passing yards as Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts with 164. Jonathan Allen can fly. The Alabama defensive lineman stormed through the Texas A&M offensive line and launched himself at Knight, so much so that he was literally parallel to the ground. The sack marked Allen’s 24th and put him one shy of second all-time in career sacks at Alabama. Also, Allen scored his second non-offensive touchdown of the season and now tied with Alabama’s lead rusher, Harris, in scoring. The 6-foot-3, 291-pound beast recovered a fumble and ran 30 yards to score.
Alabama defensive back Eddie Jackson fractured his leg and will be out for the rest of the season.
“Eddie was a fantastic player for us and a great leader,” Saban said. “I think he was an All-American player as a safety, at least in my book. We’re certainly going to miss him, but what a great player, what a great competitor, and what a great guy to have in this program for the time he’s been here.”
This season, the senior totaled 24 tackles with 2.5 for a loss of seven yards. He had an interception returned 55 yards and two pass break ups. He also scored three non-offensive touchdowns.
Best Nick Saban quote
On the upcoming bye week…
“It’s good to have a week off. I want the players to get some rest, relax and get healthy, but we can’t be relieved. We can’t be relieved we won this game. … We’ve got to continue to be able to persevere as a team.”
Best player quote
Tight end O.J. Howard
On staying for his senior season…
“These are the games you live for. Top 10 opponent, your home stadium — I love it. I came back to school to play these types of games.”
Defensive lineman Jonathan Allen
On his defensive touchdown…
“Blessed. That’s all I have to say. Blessed to take advantage of the opportunities I’ve been given and look out for my teammates.”
On Texas A&M’s run game success…
“We gave up 100 yards rushing. If we’re the best defense we can’t allow that to happen. … We don’t give up 100 yards at Alabama, so we’re actually quite pissed off to be honest.”
Top 3 rushers
1. UA: Damien Harris, 18 carries for 125 yards 2. UA: Jalen Hurts, 21 carries for 93 yards and a touchdown3. AM: Keith Ford, 15 carries for 62 yards
Top 3 receivers (based on receptions)
1. AM: Christian Kirk, nine receptions for 58 yards and a touchdown2. UA: O.J. Howard, eight receptions for 69 yards and a touchdown3. UA: Calvin Ridley, four receptions for 27 yards and a touchdown
Top 3 passers
1. UA: Jalen Hurts, 15-25-2 for 164 yards and two touchdowns (sacked three times)2. AM: Trevor Knight, 14-31-1 for 164 yards and two touchdowns (sacked twice)3. None.
Top 3 defenders (based on total tackles)
1. UA: Reuben Foster, 12 total tackles (0.5 tackle for loss)2. AM: Shaan Washington, 11 total tackles (0.5 tackle for loss and a quarterback hurry)3. AM: Armani Watts, eight total tackles (1.5 tackles for loss)
Alabama is 8-0 and heads into its first bye week of the season. Its next game will be at LSU on Nov. 5.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports