Breaking down the Alabama-Texas A&M game

Posted Sunday, Sep. 15, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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First quarter

Big play: Alabama’s A.J. McCarron hit wide receiver Kevin Norwood for a 22-yard touchdown pass with 5:24 left to turn the momentum after Texas A&M jumped to a 14-0 lead.

Key stat: 5 career 100-yard receiving games for Texas A&M’s Mike Evans, who topped the century mark with 7:47 left (three catches for 101 yards). Evans finished the quarter with four receptions for 135 yards.

Second quarter

Big play: Cyrus Jones intercepted a pass by A&M’s Johnny Manziel in the end zone with the score tied at 14 at 10:27. The Aggies looked to be headed for another quick score but instead were shut out the rest of the half.

Key stat: 5 completions of 15-plus yards for McCarron , including a 51-yard touchdown to Kenny Bell and a 44-yard touchdown to DeAndrew White on a flea-flicker.

Third quarter

Big play: Vinnie Sunseri intercepted a tipped pass from Manziel on A&M’s first possession of the second half and ran the ball back 73 yards for a touchdown to put Alabama up 35-14.

Key stat: 2 turnovers for Manziel and the A&M offense after Sunseri’s pick. In the Aggies’ 29-24 upset win against Alabama in 2012, A&M turned the ball over zero times.

Fourth quarter

Big play: Mike Evans caught a 95-yard touchdown pass from Manziel, the second longest scoring pass in A&M history, on a third-down play to keep the Aggies in the game with 8:04 left to go.

Key stat: 1,196 total offensive yards between Alabama and A&M. The teams combined for 91 points, and the Aggies’ 628 yards were the most ever given up by Alabama.

Players of the game

Alabama QB A.J. McCarron: Senior threw for 334 yards on 20-of-24 passing with four touchdowns, no interceptions and no sacks.

Alabama WR DeAndrew White: Junior caught four passes for 82 yards, including a 44-yard touchdown.

Alabama RB T.J Yeldon: Sophomore ran for 149 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries (a 6-yard average) to lead the Crimson Tide’s rushing attack.

Alabama DB Vinnie Sunseri: Junior had four total tackles, three solo, and an interception returned 73 yards for a score.

A&M QB Johnny Manziel: Sophomore threw for 464 yards (28-for-39 with two interceptions) and five touchdowns. Manziel also ran for 98 yards.

A&M WR Mike Evans: Sophomore set an A&M single-game record with 279 receiving yards. He caught seven passes, including a 95-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.


• “It was a lot of work chasing around Manziel. Our offense did a great job of keeping A&M off the field.” Alabama LB C.J. Mosley, who finished with a team-high 12 total tackles.

• “It’s not the time to really answer that. For me, focus on my season, focus on my team first and foremost.” A&M QB Johnny Manziel, when questioned about the allegations he took money for his autographs in the off-season.

• “Our goals are still out in front of us.” A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin, on his team’s potential to get back in the championship race. Sumlin and his players used Alabama’s 2012 title run, which came after the Crimson Tide lost to the Aggies at home, as an example of how to bounce back from a loss in a big game.

— Brent Shirley

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