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Alabama Football News

STEPHEN’S REPORT: Focusing on the Performance of the Players

Defensive Play—Overall [A]

Defensive Line [A] – The goal was to affect Kenny Hill. Alabama’s defensive line thrived in its endeavor. The Crimson Tide sacked Hill five times and totaled six sacks in the contest. D.J. Pettway, Jonathan Allen and Da’Shawn Hand each recorded a full sack. Pettway led all defensive linemen with three tackles.

Linebackers [A] – Reggie Ragland, Ryan Anderson, Reuben Foster and Trey DePriest were men amongst boys. Ragland totaled five tackles, one interception and half a sack. DePriest had five tackles and a pass breakup. Anderson registered six tackles. Foster collected five tackles and a sack. Dillon Lee made it into the stats column with five tackles.

Secondary [A] – Geno Smith and Nick Perry led Alabama’s secondary against Texas A&M. Smith had five tackles and a forced fumble. Perry recorded five tackles. Alabama’s secondary kept Texas A&M’s big time receivers in check. Josh Reynolds was the Aggies leading receiver. He caught three passes for 42 yards.

Summary: No one pictured a shutout, but Alabama’s defense got it done. Texas A&M averaged 564.9 yards of offense prior to today. The Crimson Tide held the Aggies to 172 yards of offense (141 passing, 31 rushing) and forced a Kenny Hill interception.

Special Teams—Overall [B]

JK Scott [A]- He got in some light work, but Scott continues to excel. He averaged 50.0 yards per punt (56 yards—longest) and pinned Texas A&M inside its 20-yard line once. Scott averaged 60.8 yards per kick on kickoffs.

Adam Griffith [B] – Griffith was better this week, but needs to improve his distance on kickoffs. He nailed a 21-yard field goal in the first quarter. Griffith’s kicks averaged 62.8 yards (two touchbacks), but a few of them fell well short of the endzone.

Coverage [A] – Kickoff and punt coverage was good, despite a mishap in the fourth quarter. Reuben Foster covered some serious ground. He had a couple of punishing tackles.

Summary: Alabama’s special teams played well. Adam Griffith and JK Scott excelled. The Crimson Tide did a good job of covering kicks. Christion Jones received a confidence boost after his 47-yard punt return in the second quarter.

Running Backs—Overall [A]

T.J. Yeldon [A] – Yeldon ran with purpose against Texas A&M. He didn’t have a negative result rushing. Yeldon hit the holes well and secured the ball. He averaged 8.8 yards per carry. Yeldon rushed for 114 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries.

Derrick Henry [A] – Henry was a wrecking ball on the ground. He averaged 7.0 yards per carry. Henry protected the ball and displayed vision in the hole. He rushed for 70 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.

Summary: Yeldon and Henry had the stats, but Altee Tenpenny and Tyren Jones did well also. Jones totaled nine carries for 34 yards. Tenpenny collected eight carries for 30 yards.

Offensive Line—Overall [A]

Summary: Zero penalties. Alabama’s offensive line was flawless against Texas A&M. The Crimson Tide was balanced offensively. Alabama surrendered one sack. The offensive line guided Alabama to 298 yards rushing and 602 yards of offense.

Quarterback Play—Overall [B+]

Blake Sims [A-] – He had a few bad passes, but Sims played with great poise against Texas A&M. He used his check downs and shared the wealth. Sims kept his eyes down field, but he also made some plays with his feet. Overall, Sims completed 59.3 percent of his passes (16/27) for 268 yards and four total touchdowns, including a 43-yard rushing score in the second quarter.

Jake Coker [B] – Coker will continue to grow as he gets more experienced. He started off slow, but a rhythm going late in the second half. Coker was 5-8 passing for 36 yards and a touchdown.

Summary: Sims was superb. He kept Texas A&M guessing with his arm and his legs. Coker has more to learn, but after his touchdown pass to Ty Flournoy-Smith in the fourth quarter, Coker is heading in the right direction.

Receivers—Overall [A]

Amari Cooper [A]- Arkansas made him a non-factor, but the “Amari Cooper for Heisman” chants may stir back up after his performance against Texas A&M. Cooper was dazzling. He caught eight passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns, including a 45-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter.

Summary: Many receivers were involved offensively. T.J. Yeldon caught three passes for 45 yards. Derrick Henry had one catch, but it went for a 41-yard touchdown. DeAndrew White had three receptions for 30 yards. Cam Sims had three catches for 14 yards. Ty Flournoy-Smith had one catch for 14 yards. Jalston Fowler caught one pass for 12 yards. ArDarius Stewart had one catch for eight yards.


Texas A&M scored 29 points and totaled 418 yards of offense against Alabama in 2012. The Aggies registered 42 points and collected 628 yards of offense in 2013. Both of those stats mean nothing. Alabama shut Texas A&M off the scoreboard. The Crimson Tide held the Aggies to 172 yards of offense.

Alabama’s head coach Nick Saban said he was very proud of the way Alabama played.

“That’s the kind of energy and enthusiasm we’ve been trying to get our guys to play with,” Saban said. “I think they are having more fun playing and that’s what we want them to do.”

Alabama did sustain some injuries, but it’s nothing serious.

“Austin Shepherd (ankle) could have played in the second half if we needed,” Saban said. “Jonathan Allen had cramps. Both should be fine.”

Reuben Foster was shaken up on a play in the second half, but there was no word on his status.


101,821 fans witnessed a huge victory for Alabama. The Crimson Tide’s offense returned full circle this week, after it was abducted by aliens for two straight weeks. Alabama affected Kenny Hill and the fans took Texas A&M out of its element.

The Crimson Tide is very much alive in its quest for the College Football Playoff. Alabama needs to duplicate this performance on the road. The Crimson Tide is now 6-1, (3-1) after its 59-0 thrashing of Texas A&M.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 15 years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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