The first legit team Alabama played this year turned out to not even be able to put up a true fight. After the rain cleared before kickoff, the tide rolled to a 45-23 victory (didn't cover ☹) over the Aggies. It was an unconventional win for 'Bama as the offense primarily came through the air. I guess that's is something we're all going to just have to get used to with Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback. Tua shredded the A&M secondary, passing for 387 yards and four touchdowns along with one five-yard rushing touchdown in the early parts of the game. But the scoring didn't come as easy in the ground game.
For a good portion of the game, A&M was dominating the run defense. It wasn't until Damien Harris ripped off a 35 yard run down the sideline, late in the second half. Until then the tide was averaging less than 3.5 yards per carrying and had seven tackles for loss. Their defensive line was extremely disruptive and disciplined throughout the entire game, and it might've been a contest if the Aggies offense showed up with the same kind of intensity.
But this is not your prototypical Alabama offense, instead of running down your throat, and forcing the opposing team to beat us in a fist fight, now the tide turns it into a game of Madden. In years past, when teams were able to hold off Alabama's run game and forced them to pass it probably wasn't a good sign. Just look at last year alone against Auburn and Georgia. Both of those teams were able to shut down the run game and force 'Bama to beat them through the air. It took an improbable performance from a true freshman to help 'Bama avoid going 0-2 in those contests.
Despite how good the passing offense was, it also took a massive effort from the defense to keep Kellen Mond from keeping A&M in the game. It looks like Nick Saban surprisingly did his homework when it came to defending Mond. The defense put pressure on him all night long and didn't let him get comfortable in the pocket. What was also a huge plus was how they were also able to contain his scrambling.
Alabama sacked Mond seven times, not allowing him to move around freely to find guys open on broken plays as he did against Clemson. The defensive MVP of the game had to have been Isaiah Buggs who recorded seven tackles three sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss. Mond, however, was able to rush for 98 yards on 18 carries. But a majority of those yards came from two big runs which resulted in a total of six points.
Although it was a well-rounded performance from the team, Saban still wishes to focus on the areas in which they can improve.
Classic Nick to start the press conference off by talking about how he didn't like how the team finished the game, despite being up by half a million points. But he did share some points about how the secondary is still not where he'd like it to be. Even though the team is 4-0 and has only allowed five passing touchdowns all season, the unit still hasn't played up to his standards.
There will be more than enough time for the secondary to find it's footing as the crimson tide continue its season with a bye week against Louisiana-Lafayette.
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