He’s a 6-foot-3, 291-pound University of Alabama defensive lineman who can run for his life when needed. He proved so Saturday during No. 1 Alabama’s 33-14 creaming of No. 6 Texas A&M.
Jonathan Allen scooped up a fumble that popped out of Texas A&M running back Keith Ford’s arms and avoided two tackles to run 30 yards into the end zone. It was Allen’s second defensive touchdown this season, totaling 104 return yards.
“Blessed,” the senior said. “That’s all I have to say. Blessed to take advantage of the opportunities I’ve been given and look out for my teammate.”’
With Allen’s score, the Crimson Tide continues to lead the nation in defensive touchdowns. It has scored at least one in its last four game. Allen’s marked No. 9 overall.
The Leesburg, Virginia, native had himself a day. Along with six tackles, Allen had a sack for a loss of 8 yards. He put pressure on Texas A&M quarterback Trevor Knight four times overall.
Allen almost had more than one sack, too.
“The first time, the play before, I got cut,” Allen said. “I was planning on doing it the first time, so I knew the second time it was going to happen. It was just a leap of faith, and I’m glad it worked out.”
The first-quarter sack was the 24th of Allen’s career. He is just one shy of tying former defensive lineman Kindal Moorehead for second all-time at Alabama.
Another Alabama player joined that list because of Saturday’s game, too. Linebacker Tim Williams slipped into 10th place with 18.5 sacks. He surpassed former defensive lineman John Copeland.
Linebacker Reuben Foster led the Crimson Tide with 12 tackles. Defensive back Ronnie Harrison followed in a tie with Allen at six tackles.
Alabama coach Nick Saban thought the defense played better against Texas A&M as the game went on, especially after an adjustment.
“We were playing them in dime most of the time in the first half, and they were starting to be able to run the ball a little bit and keep us off balance,” Saban said.
Texas A&M totaled 65 yards on the ground and 84 yards through the air before half time and was within a touchdown of Alabama.
So, the defense switched to its nickel package. The Aggies added 49 rushing yards and 80 receiving yards from that point on.
“It was a really good adjustment for us,” Saban said. “I think the front seven did a really good job of pressuring the quarterback, which was huge.”
Collectively, Alabama wracked up five sacks, nine quarterback hurries and four pass breakups. Defensive back Marlon Humphrey snagged Alabama’s only interception during the second quarter. Defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson and linebacker Ryan Anderson each forced a fumble.
The Aggies still finished with 278 total offensive yards, though. They carried the ball 38 times and completed 14 of 31 passes.
“We don’t give up 100 yards at Alabama,” Allen said, “so we’re actually quite pissed off to be honest.”
Source:: The Crimson White Sports