Alabama Tide Roll In First Test Of 2018, Stomp Texas A&M 45-23
The previously ranked Texas A&M Aggies came into Tuscaloosa expecting to thwart the No. 1 team in the country and were instead dismantled by Tua Tagovailoa’s Alabama Crimson Tide. The majestic left arm of Tagovailoa scorched the Aggies defense on the first play of Tide offense, slinging a 30-yarder to receiver Devonta Smith.
A&M almost grasped the momentum early on, utilizing the athleticism and playmaking ability of quarterback Kellen Mond. Typically the case with Tide opponents, A&M just couldn’t finish. With multiple series ending in field goals, it was evident the Tide defense was too rigid for a red-zone collapse. It takes much more than field goals to beat the Tide, which were supplemented with mistakes on the other side of the ball. Interceptions plagued the Aggies, which the Tide capitalized on throughout the game.
It wasn’t all grief for A&M: it was able to deliver on a 99-yard scoring drive after getting pinned by the Tide at the one-yard line. The Aggies defense held its own on the preceding drive, forcing a three-and-out by Tagovailoa for the first time in the 2018 season. The Tide’s longtime soft spot, the mobile quarterback, was partially exposed as well. Mond ripped a long run on a designed draw, blasting through the second level on an eventual scoring drive. Again highlighting what might be the Tide’s only weakness, there is a simple explanation for why the Tide struggle to contain pesky roving QBs. By incorporating a man defense throughout, a mobile quarterback such as Mond can wreak havoc if he makes it past the linebackers, leaving only the safeties to provide last-second help. They managed to outplay his heroics, however, making an impressive home-stand to their first ranked opponent out of many to come.