While it started as a deja vu game, it didn’t end like one. (Photo Dave Martin AP)
Alabama – Texas A&M Game – From Deja Vu to Not This Time
By Larry Burton
7-0, 14-0 and Texas A&M got off to another fast start against the Crimson Tide and many Tide fans were feeling the Deja Vu of this fight with Texas A&M. For people sitting in the stadium and those millions at home wearing their Crimson, there was a sinking feeling of “Oh no! Not again!”
Fortunately, the players wearing Crimson and White didn’t share that sentiment, to them it was, “Not this time”, and it proved to be the mantra that carried the team to come back and reel off 35 unanswered points. Once ahead by 21 points, with the Alabama offensive line proving that they could not only bulldoze the undermanned A&M defense, but also made it possible to control not only the tempo of the game and drain the clock with long drives as well.
Though the 49-42 score may show the uninformed that the game was close, in all reality the game was over at halftime as it was clear the Aggie defense had no answers to stop the Alabama offense once McCarron got the ball rolling and went into the locker room with a 14 point lead.
To further make it less of Deja Vu and more of a Not-This-Time game, last season it Manziel with some late game magic put the Aggies ahead, but this time, it was McCarron who remained poised and cool and kept his foot on the offensive accelerator and kept grinding out drive after drive in the second half.
Luck however was still with the Aggies. It seemed every questionable call went their way as well some very terrible passes that were still completed. But in the end, luck was not enough.
Here are some last season / this season stats that further show the differences and similarities of the two games.
Similarities – last yr – this year Differences – last yr – this yr
Passing Yds – McCarron – 309 – 334 Manziel – 253 – 464
Manziel Rushing Yds – 92 – 98
Running Back Rushing Yds – 73 – 66 – A&M Bama – 117 – 236
Turnovers – A&M – 0 – 2 Bama – 3 – 1
So as you can see, Manziel passing for 100+ yards didn’t make a difference, being able to rush for slightly more yardage than he did last year made no difference. The big thing was two fold. Alabama was able to rush for almost 120 yards more in this game keeping Manziel on the bench for longer periods of time and this year it was A&M who lost the turnover battle and lost it badly.
Those were the two big factors that kept this game from being deja vu all over again.
Larry is an award winning writer whose work has appeared in almost every college football venue. Now he primarily writes for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. Follow Larry on Twitter at https://twitter.com/LBSportswriter