TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama football remained on top of the latest AP Top 25 Poll following its win at Texas A&M on Saturday.
The Crimson Tide received 43 of 61 first-place votes. No. 2 Clemson received the remaining 18 first-place votes. Penn State, Georgia and Washington rounded out the top five.
Earlier Sunday, Alabama also checked in at No. 1 in the Amway Coaches Poll with 57 first-place votes. No. 2 Clemson received eight first-place votes. Penn State, Washington and Georgia rounded out the top five.
After outscoring two SEC opponents 125-3, Alabama had a tougher test against Texas A&M on Saturday.
The Crimson Tide downed the Aggies 27-19, but there plenty of lessons to be learned from the narrow victory. This is the closest Texas A&M has played Alabama since the Johnny Manziel era four years ago, when the Aggies lost a shootout to the Tide at Kyle Field.
It was an average day for Alabama’s offense as a whole. The offense line missed some assignments in the run game and pass protection. There were also some missed throws and dropped passes.
Alabama had 355 yards of total offense and averaged 5.3 yards per carry (232 yards on 44 carries), but it never felt like the Crimson Tide imposed its will on the Aggies.
Alabama struggled on third downs, converting on 4 of 14 attempts.
Junior running back Damien Harris was the star of the offense with 124 yards and 1 touchdown. Harris, who averaged 8.9 yards per carry, broke a long run of 75 yards to give Alabama its first score of the game.
Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts accounted for 2 touchdowns. The Aggies did a good job of limiting Alabama’s rushing attack outside of Harris. Alabama’s no-turnover streak ended after 38 quarters.
Before the late touchdown with 17 seconds left, Alabama’s defense only allowed 10 points to a high-powered offensive attack. The touchdown Alabama’s defense allowed in the third quarter came off an Alabama turnover. The Aggies moved the ball at times, but Alabama was always able to lock in and keep the Aggies out of the end zone, for the most part.
Texas A&M converted just 3 of 14 third-down attempts. If they can stay healthy, the Crimson Tide are building toward becoming another dominant Nick Saban defense.
This was the type of game Alabama needed. The Crimson Tide didn’t have to lose to learn some lessons. Alabama isn’t going to beat every team 59-0 or 66-3. These are the types of games that build character.
Alabama coach Nick Saban wasn’t happy with how the team responded. Alabama probably took its foot off the gas for a second, which allowed Texas A&M to creep back in.
Alabama should get back to its blowout ways against Arkansas on Saturday at 7:15 p.m. ET on ESPN.
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