Giving out grades for the Crimson Tide’s dominating win over Texas A&M.


After Blake Sims nearly threw a pick-six on Alabama’s first possession of the game, the Crimson Tide were more or less flawless on offense. They racked up more than 600 yards of offense and scored touchdowns on seven straight drives (and scored on eight straight) before taking their foot off the gas. Sims was money after that near-interception at the start of the game, but the most exciting aspect of this dominant performance was the running game. After 234 yards total in the two previous weeks, Alabama ran for 298 yards and 4 TD, with most of that damage done in the first three quarters of the game. In the first half alone, Alabama set a school record for most points in a quarter (35 in the second) and had their second most points in a half (45).


Talk about domination. In the first half, Alabama’s offense ran as many plays than Texas A&M had total yards. The 51 yards A&M did pick up were all through the air, and they had exactly zero rushing yards at half. The Aggies didn’t cross midfield until the third quarter and failed on their first nine third-down conversion attempts. The Crimson Tide had pressure on Kenny Hill all game and limited the SEC’s top offense to 172 total yards. Even with backups in the game, Alabama didn’t yield the huge garbage time totals that A&M has rolled up the last two weeks.


For the first time in three weeks, the Crimson Tide didn’t make any crucial special teams errors. They did give up a kick return in the fourth quarter, which nearly spoiled the defense’s shutout. Christion Jones was much better than he has been returning punts, although he bobbled one kick before breaking off a big return. He did make one questionable decision, considering his fumbling issues: instead of calling for a fair catch in a crowd, he attempted to return the kick, only yielding a couple of yards.


Nick Saban is known as a master motivator and leader, and he got his team fired up for this game. The offensive game plan was simple and nothing was forced, while the defense had an answer for everything Texas A&M tried. The Tide finally cleaned up their special teams play, and best of all the team played with as much emotion as they’ve exhibited all season.


When a team puts up its biggest margin of victory since 1991, and its biggest SEC win since 1979, there’s not a lot of negative things to say. In the face of criticism, Alabama came out and put up one of its best efforts in years.