The Crimson Tide's 59-0 win over the Aggies is how The Process® is supposed to work. Almost every aspect of the game went Alabama's way.
I cannot remember how many Heismans we decided T.J. Yeldon would win by the time his career is over (was it 7?) but he surely won one on Saturday. He ran hard, had moves, and looked like an All- gaining 114 yards on only 13 carries (8.8 yards per carry) with two touchdowns. Derrick Henry too looked good compiling 70 yards on 10 rushes and a score. Even quarterback Blake Sims got in on the act with 54 yards on 4 runs and a score. In total, the Tide put up 298 yards rushing.
The passing game was good/not-great, but good enough in that no mistakes were made save a dropped interception by the Aggies' Deshazor Everett. Between Blake and Jake Coker, they were 21 of 35 for 304 yards and 4 passing scores.
All this could not have been possible without domination at the line of scrimmage. True freshman Bradley Bozeman has who has been plugged in to replace junior Ryan Kelly has vastly improved over three games. Offensive tackle Austin Shepherd was helped off the field in the second quarter. No problem. Sophomore Grant Hill came in to replace him and the line did not miss a beat. Maybe the most encouraging stat from this unit was 0 penalties called against them. They did give up one sack but that was probably Coker's fault. That 4-yard sack and a late 3-yard loss by reserve running back Tyren Jones were the only negative yardage plays on the day.
This defense came ready to play. They were fired up and flying around the field.
Much of the game, the Tide defense was allowed to rush only four men which allowed the secondary to neutralize the receivers. Bama linemen D.J. Pettway, Jonathan Allen, and Da'Shawn Hand each recorded a sack. The defense had six sacks for -27 yards.
A&M's running never got going picking up only one rushing first down. As a team, they had 31 yards on 24 attempts, a pathetic 1.3 yards per carry. If there is one good thing to say about the Aggies' running game it's that they did not fumble.
Aggies quarterbacks Kenny Hill and Kyle Allen combined to pass 19 of 31 for 141 yards and an interception. Hill was harassed on day long. His biggest mistake was throwing a pass into the outstretched arms of linebacker Reggie Ragland who made an athletic interception at the line of scrimmage.
The linebackers played an excellent game led by Ryan Anderson who has been on fire the last couple of weeks.
Junior safety Landon Collins had one of his most solid games of the season patrolling the secondary. Cyrus Jones and Eddie Jackson continue to solidify the cornerback positions blanketing receivers. Star/nickle Geno Smith led the secondary with five tackles. TAMU senior receiver Malcome Kennedy was held to four yards on four catches. If there is a knock on this unit it is that they let a few potential interceptions slip through their fingers.
By now, all Crimson Tide fans know the name J.K. Scott. the long-legged punter continued his exceptional season with 4 punts for 200 yards, an average of 50.0 yards per boot. He is now second in the nation with an average of 47.3 yards. Just a freshman, folks.
After a few rough weeks, placekicker Adam Griffith looked much better. He converted a 21-yard field goal and was 7 of 7 on extra points. If you have been paying attention this season, you would have noticed that early in the season when things were going well for Griffith, even his extra points were straight and true. The last couple of games, the PATs were a little crooked. On Saturday, he was back to kicking like the ball could've easily sailed 50 yards and went symmetrically through the middle.
The return game was sufficient. Kick returner Christion Jones made better choices and looked more like his old self. He returned three punts for 53 yards (17.7 avg). The only kickoff return for Bama was a touchback.
The coverage team was mostly solid with some big hits, especially form human cannonball Reuben Foster. However, late in the game, the cover team almost gave up a score allowing Trey Williams to return the game's last kickoff 75 yards to the Alabama 23. Fortunately, the defense bailed them out and preserved the shutout.
Even this department brought good news. The Tide had two key players helped off the field. Defensive lineman Jonathan Allen needed a cart after to get him off the field in the third quarter. Fortunately, the diagonals was leg cramps.
Offensive tackle Austin Shepherd had his leg rolled up by another player and was taken to the locker room. He returned in a boot but coach Nick Saban broke the news that the senior could have returned if he was needed. Shepherd has a sprained ankle and knee. He will be available for the Tennessee game which is followed by a much needed bye.
HOW IT STACKS UP
Many people consider Alabama's defensive domination against LSU in the 2011-12 BCS Championship Game one of the best of all times. There are several examples of Bama routing opponents over the years. But has there been a game over a significant opponent that has been so one-sided? This was SEC team Texas A&M after all, not East Memphis School of Teachers. The Aggies were 5-2 and ranked #21 coming into the game.
From top to bottom, this was as close to perfection as The Process® can be for one Saturday. Now if Saban can keep this going for the rest of the season, we are looking at history.