Isaiah Buggs was having solid but relatively quiet season as part of the defensive line rotation. He had started four out of five games and had 12 total tackles. With Da’Shawn Hand injured, Buggs took on a larger roll; and he certainly stepped up. He racked up 10 tackles and was making an impact beyond the stat sheet.
2nd and 5: Buggs (#49) is the right defensive end on the outside shoulder of the left tackle. WR Christian Kirk motions right to left, but Buggs isn’t fooled. He’s left unblocked and crashes down on RB Trayveon Williams. Buggs smashes into him, and Williams just manages to get back to the line of scrimmage.
2nd and 8: Buggs is the right DE again. Texas A&M has RB Keith Ford to the left and Trayveon Williams to the right of Kellen Mond. Buggs is left unblocked again and pushes into the backfield. He cheats inside a little, and Mond keeps it and takes off. Buggs reacts quickly, though, and heads him off. Mond shows off the escapability that will bedevil Alabama at times throughout the game and cuts inside Buggs to avoid the tackle and safety.
3rd and 8: It’s third and long, so Buggs slides inside while Rashaan Evans lines up outside with his hand in the dirt. Buggs gets low on the left guard and gets his hands right in the guard’s chest. He stands him up as he keeps his eyes on the backfield. Buggs holds him at arm’s length, shoving him away so he can wrap up Keith Ford for an easy tackle.
3rd and 4: Buggs is on the right. The Aggies motion the running back out wide, so Mond is all by his lonesome in the backfield. Left tackle Koda Martin stymies Buggs initially on an outside rush. Buggs battles with Martin, going back inside then back outside. He gets a lane; but Martin grabs a handful of jersey as Buggs gets free and yanks him down, causing Buggs to stumble. Martin holds on to Buggs until Mond escapes the pocket and scrambles for a first down.
3rd and 7: Buggs has slid inside again. He slams into the left guard, attacking his right shoulder and driving back him. Buggs powers through and gets right in the face of Mond, who hurriedly lofts a deep ball down the sideline. Levi Wallace gets flagged for pass interference, however; and it’s a first down.
4th and 2: Buggs is one of two down linemen (Da’Ron Payne is the other), and he once more bullies the left guard. He gets under the guard’s shoulder pads and just drives him right into Mond’s lap. Buggs knocks the guard flat on his butt and reaches out to grab Mond, who escapes from him. He doesn’t get far, however, as Anfernee Jennings tracks him down short of the line to gain.
3rd and 6: It wasn’t a perfect night for Buggs, though. He’s on the right with Jennings standing right next to him. Buggs stunts inside and gets picked up by the center. While he’s engaged, he gets his right hand up in the center’s facemask and draws the flag. It’s a 15 yard penalty, and the Aggies get a first down after Levi Wallace helped break up Mond’s pass.