By KRISTIE RIEKEN, AP Sports activities Author
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Seth Small made a 28-yard area purpose as time expired and Texas A&M shocked top-ranked Alabama 41-38 on Saturday night time to finish the Crimson Tide’s profitable streak at 19 video games.
Defending nationwide champion Alabama (5-1, 2-1 Southeastern Convention) had scored 21 straight factors — capped by a TD reception and 2-point conversion seize by Jameson Williams — to take a 38-31 lead with 5 minutes to go.
Texas A&M (4-2, 1-2) tied it at 38 when Zach Calzada related with Ainias Smith for a 25-yard landing strike with three minutes left. Calzada was hit as he threw the strike and needed to be helped off the sphere however returned for the subsequent drive after a go to to the medical tent.
Calzada returned after the Aggies pressured a punt to orchestrate the profitable drive, highlighted by a 17-yard cross to Isaiah Spiller earlier than Small completed it off to ship followers streaming onto the sphere to have fun.
“I am pleased with our guys,” Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher stated. “We made performs at essential instances.”
Calzada threw for 285 yards and three touchdowns, as the previous backup performed like a star. Devon Achane returned a kickoff 96 yards for a TD within the third quarter and A&M’s protection acquired after Bryce Younger all night time.
“This can be a nice win,” Achane stated. “It exhibits us that we’re able to doing nice issues.”
Smith completed with 85 yards receiving and two scores and Jalen Wydermyer had 73 yards receiving and a TD to assist the Aggies to what actually is their largest win since Fisher took over in 2018.
Alabama hadn’t misplaced since falling 48-45 to Auburn on Nov. 30, 2019.
“Everybody wants to recollect how they really feel and never neglect it,” Alabama coach Nick Saban stated.
It’s the primary time Saban has misplaced to one in every of his assistants after getting into the sport an ideal 24-0 in these video games. He’d crushed Fisher 4 instances, essentially the most of any of his former staffers earlier than the previous Florida State coach lastly ended the streak on his 56th birthday.
“It doesn’t suggest something to me,” Fisher stated about ending the previous assistants streak. “Our soccer crew is studying to play towards different nice soccer groups and have success. That’s what issues to me.”
Texas A&M additionally ended Alabama’s streak of 100 wins over unranked groups, courting to a win over Colorado within the 2007 Independence Bowl to cap Saban’s first season.
The Aggies entered the season ranked sixth and gunning for Alabama after the Crimson Tide handed them their solely loss final season. However by final week it seemed as if this may be a misplaced season for the Aggies after consecutive defeats by Arkansas and Mississippi State despatched them tumbling out of the High 25.
However as an alternative of falling into an even bigger gap this week, the Aggies pulled off the upset to snap an eight-game skid towards Alabama. It’s their first win within the collection since Johnny Manziel’s spectacular efficiency led them to a 29-24 win in 2012 on the street when the Crimson Tide was additionally ranked first.
“We had a few robust weeks … (however) you’re outlined by the way you reply to adversity,” Fisher stated.
Johnny Soccer, who gained the Heisman Trophy that season, was among the many 106,815 followers at Kyle Discipline on Saturday night time to observe the Aggies beat the Crimson Tide at dwelling for the primary time ever. A&M’s first win within the collection got here in a 20-16 win within the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 1, 1968.
Manziel was amongst these celebrating on the sphere after the sport within the wild postgame celebration.
The 17 1/2-point underdogs gained management of this one early, racing out to a 24-10 halftime lead behind two takeaways and a splendid begin by Calzada. A&M’s 24 factors within the first half have been essentially the most Alabama had allowed to an unranked opponent earlier than halftime throughout Saban’s tenure.
“There have been lots of points,” Saban stated.
Younger threw for 369 yards and three touchdowns and Williams had 146 yards receiving. Brian Robinson Jr. added 147 yards speeding.
Alabama lower the result in seven when DeMarcco Hellams blocked a punt by Nik Constantinou and King
Mwikuta pounced on it in the long run zone for a landing within the third quarter.
However the Aggies took the blow and responded instantly with one in every of their very own. Achane zig-zagged via two waves of defenders after which displayed the elite velocity that lets him double as a sprinter on the observe crew to easily outrun everybody to make it 31-17 with eight minutes left within the third.
Younger then capped a 75-yard drive with a 29-yard landing cross Williams to chop the result in 31-24. Williams put his finger to his lips to shush the group after the rating.
Alabama has some issues to scrub as much as get again on observe and attempt to get an opportunity to defend its title. The Aggies should be kicking themselves that they didn’t play higher within the final two weeks so this win may have meant much more.
Alabama is actually to fall a couple of spots within the ballot after the loss and getting a win over the defending champs ought to be sufficient to get the Aggies again within the High 25.
Alabama: At Mississippi State on Saturday night time.
Texas A&M: At Missouri on Saturday.
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