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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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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Trio of pick-sixes delivers Alabama’s 41-23 win over Texas A&M

Freshman+Daylon+Mack+sacks+the+quarterback+during+A%26amp%3BMs+Saturday+matchup+against+Alabama.
Photo by Bryan Johnson

Freshman Daylon Mack sacks the quarterback during A&M’s Saturday matchup against Alabama.

Texas A&M’s quarterback Kyle Allen threw four touchdowns Saturday afternoon — and three of them were for the opposing team, Alabama.
Alabama running back Derrick Henry dominated the game with 236 yards on 32 carries, leading the Crimson Tide to a statement 41-23 win at Kyle Field. But, Kyle Allen’s woes were the bigger story. The sophomore threw three costly interceptions, all of which were returned for touchdowns.
On the day, Allen passed 20-for-40 for 263 yards and a touchdown, along with his three picks.
“We weren’t very good at that position today,” A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin said. “We had three pick-sixes. It is virtually impossible to win when giving away 21 points.”
Despite the turnovers, Texas A&M (5-1, 2-1 SEC) faced a winnable game in the final quarter. But after taking possession down 34-23, Allen threw his final pick six, creating the final tally. Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick returned the error 55 yards to the house, his second pick-six on the afternoon.
The Crimson Tide (6-1, 3-1 SEC) dug the Aggies into a hole early after starting the game 28-6. The first points in the game came on Allen’s first interception, which was ran back for Fitzpatrick’s first pick-six — this time being for 33 yards.
On the next Alabama possession, Henry dashed 55 yards for a score to give Alabama a 14-0 advantage with 5:26 left in the first. By the end of the opening quarter, Henry obtained 153 yards on the ground. After a Taylor Bertolet 54-yard field goal, the Crimson Tide expanded the lead to 21-3 on a six-yard run from Henry.
“Alabama did a great job of making plays earlier on in the first quarter and second quarter,” linebacker A.J. Hilliard said. “We did a poor job of pressing our gaps and playing our defense the way we needed to play. A lot of that was on me, to be honest. They were hitting up the middle, the A and B gaps, so we just weren’t pressing our gaps good enough.”
The Aggies gained momentum after another Bertolet field goal coming from 52 yards out and by forcing another Alabama punt. But after driving 50 yards on the ensuing possession, Allen made another costly turnover.
Alabama’s Eddie Jackson intercepted Allen’s pass and returned it 93 yards, making it 28-6 with 6:28 yards in the half. Along with Fitzpatrick, Jackson garnered two interceptions for the Tide in the contest, and his pick-six was the third longest in school history.
“I’m not going to dump it all on interceptions,” offensive lineman Germain Ifedi said. “A lot of things are happening on the football field. There are 11 guys on offense, so a lot of things are happening. We just got to keep executing.”
Nevertheless, there was much football to be played. On Alabama’s next possession, A&M forced a three-and-out. In turn, freshman sensation Christian Kirk bolted the punt back 68 yards to cut the deficit to 28-13 heading into halftime.
The final two drives of the first half and beginning pair of drives in the second resulted in Alabama three-and-outs. Feasting on the momentum and a fumble on a punt return, the Aggies quickly marched to a three-play, 47-yard touchdown drive. Allen capped it with his lone touchdown, connecting with Ricky Seals-Jones in the endzone from three yards out.
“I thought it was really a tale of two halves,” Sumlin said. “Our second half defense gave us an opportunity throughout the majority of the half to have a chance to tie the game or be right there.”
Myles Garrett made it interesting on the following possession, as the defensive end blocked Alabama’s punt to place A&M at the Alabama 29. But, the Aggies continued to struggle offensively, which led to Bertolet missing a 52-yard attempt.
Because of the offensive woes, Kyler Murray took over the quarterback duties on a couple different occasions. In the most pivotal situation for Murray — a drive when the Aggies were trailing 31-20 — the freshman threw an interception on the first play of the drive as time expired in the third quarter. Jackson snagged the deep pass and returned it just 26 yards, the only interception not returned for six. 
Coming off an ejection in the previous matchup, Seals-Jones led A&M in reception yards with 107 on six catches, while Kirk trailed right behind with 90 on seven grabs. Tra Carson was held to 46 yards on the ground on 13 carries after garnering 110 yards the game before.
The Aggies Playoff hopes remain with where they currently stand in the SEC West, but there will not be a break since they head to Oxford, Mississippi next week for a must-win matchup against Ole Miss. 

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  • Junior defensive end Daeshon Hall pressures the quarterback during Saturday’s game versus Alabama.

    Photo by FILE
  • Donovan Wilson and Claude George combine for a tackle during the first half of Texas A&M’s Saturday game against Alabama.

    Photo by Bryan Johnson
  • Freshman kick returner Christian Kirk crosses into the end zone during Texas A&M’s Saturday matchup against Alabama.

    Photo by Bryan Johnson
  • Sophomore defensive end Myles Garrett rushes the passer late in the first half versus Alabama.

    Photo by Bryan Johnson
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