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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Texas+A%26amp%3BM+will+travel+to+Mississippi+Saturday+for+a+top-25+match+up.
Photo by By Bryan Johnson

Texas A&M will travel to Mississippi Saturday for a top-25 match up.

Alabama came to Kyle Field Saturday and handed Texas A&M its first loss of the season with a score of 41-23. Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly from the game.

The good: the defense

When looking at Alabama’s 41 points, it’s easy to assume the Aggie defense did not do their job. However, that was not the case. 

Sure, the rush defense was pretty porous in the first half, but they did a nice job shutting down Derrick Henry with some adjustments in the second half. Henry gashed them in the first half for 178 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries, including four runs of more than 15 yards. 

One of those was a 55-yard touchdown run, where Henry went untouched to the end zone and made safety Armani Watts miss with a quick juke to cap off the explosive run. In the second half however, it was a different story, as the defense adjusted and shut Henry down, as he rushed for only 58 yards on 17 carries and no touchdowns in the second half. 

The secondary showed they have vastly improved from recent years, and the pass rush put pressure on Jake Coker, even though they only sacked him once. They also held Alabama to just 4-for-16 on third down conversions in the game. 

Justin Evans and Armani Watts brought the wood. Overall, they allowed just 20 points in the game, and if not for the three pick sixes tossed by the offense, the outcome of the game could have been very different.

The bad: rush offense

The running game was almost nonexistent on Saturday afternoon, and that is partly due to A&M having to pass the ball while being down 28-6. 

Of the Aggies’ 70 plays, only 25 of them were rushes, and on those 25 rushes, they only finished with 32 yards rushing as a team. They also averaged just 1.3 yards per carry. 

Tra Carson, when he did get the ball, ran hard and made some very nice cuts for a back of his size. He rushed 13 times for 46 yards and no touchdowns, but he lowered his shoulder on a few runs and made his presence felt on the few runs he did have in the game. 

The rest of the team totaled negative 14 yards rushing combined. But even without the sacks, Christian Kirk and Kwame Etwi combined for two carries and 15 yards. Alabama’s front seven was a big part of it, as they made life hard for the Aggie offensive line all afternoon.

The ugly: pick sixes

It’s hard to win a football game when basically handing an opposing team 21 points. Alabama’s secondary came away with four interceptions, three of them returned for touchdowns (two by the same guy), winning the game for Alabama. 

The Crimson Tide destroyed any momentum the Aggies had built, and if not for them, A&M very well could have won the game. 

This game was a question of whether A&M was one of the SEC’s elite on Saturday. Elite teams are not minus-three in the turnover margin at the end of the game. It was without question the story of the contest, and it is what hurt A&M the most. 

The defense kept them in it as long as they could, but you cannot blame a defense for giving up points when the offense cannot move the ball and the defense has to be on the field for long periods of time. 

The defense does need to force turnovers more often, but when you make a mistake against Alabama, they make you pay for it. 

Andre Perrard is a sports management senior and a sports reporter for  The Battalion.

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    Photo by Photo By: Bryan Johnson
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