- Kevin Sumlin
- Mark Snyder
- Johnny Manziel
- Mike Evans
- Toney Hurd, Jr.
- Malcome Kennedy
- Julien Obioha
- Cedric Ogbuehi
- Ben Malena
** available after 11:30 PM CT per SEC rules
COLLEGE STATION, Texas--AJ McCarron threw four touchdown passes, Vinnie Sunseri returned an interception 73 yards for a score and No. 1 Alabama held off a late Texas A&M rally with a 49-42 victory over the sixth-ranked Aggies Saturday.
Alabama (2-0, 1-0 SEC) spotted the Aggies (2-1, 0-1) a 14-0 lead, but McCarron and the Tide didn't take as long to respond this time, ripping off the next 35 points.
McCarron tossed three touchdowns in the first half to put Alabama up 28-14. Sunseri's pick-6 made it 35-14 less than three minutes into the third.
Johnny Manziel was his spectacular self, throwing for a career-best and school-record 464 yards and five TDs. But a first-half interception in the end zone swung the game the Tide's way and his third-quarter pick put the Aggies in a deep hole.
Alabama's best defense was its offense. The Tide gained 568 yards and kept Manziel on the bench with a couple of long drives.
Bama-A&M lived up to the billing. But this SEC heavyweight matchup was no 9-6 Game of the Century. The offenses were all but unstoppable.
And while the Tide's offense wore out the Aggies, its defense struck a big blow.
Manziel threw deep down the middle to Malcome Kennedy, but Jarrick Williams had tight coverage for Alabama and tipped the pass into the air. Sunseri came down with it and was off in the other direction, stutter-stepping as Manziel slid on by while trying for a one-arm takedown. The safety broke another tackle on the way into the end zone and Alabama was up 35-14.
A crowd of 87,596 that was booming like a jet engine earlier fell silent. They were hoping to see the Aggies get their third victory against a No. 1 team, and second straight against Alabama.
Alabama was poised to go up three touchdowns in the fourth quarter when Texas A&M's defense slammed into T.J. Yeldon a couple of yards from the goal line, causing a fumble the Aggies recovered at the 5.
Two plays later, Manziel found Mike Evans deep. The big receiver broke away from a tackler and went 95 yards for a score that made it 42-35 with 8:04 left. Manziel sprinted out of his end zone toward the other to celebrate. The crowd was alive again.
Evans finished with a school-record 279 yards on seven catches.
In need of a time-consuming drive, Alabama leaned on Yeldon and McCarron. On third-and-goal from the 5, McCarron faked the hand off, rolled right and flipped to Jalston Fowler for the touchdown to make it 49-35 with 2:28 left.
Manziel threw one more TD with 15 seconds left, but Alabama grabbed the onside kick and that was that.
It looked promising early for the Aggies. Manziel and Evans hooked up three times for long passes on their first two drives, setting up two short touchdowns that put A&M up 14-0 halfway through the first quarter.
McCarron responded with a 22-yard TD pass to Kevin Norwood, a 44-yard score on a flea-flicker to DeAndrew White and a 51-yarder in which Kenny Bell did most of the work after a short throw.
NO. 1 ALABAMA 49, AT NO. 6 TEXAS A&M 42
ABOUT THE GAME…
+ Today’s 49-42 win by the top-ranked Crimson Tide dropped A&M’s all-time record at No. 1-ranked teams (Associated Press poll only) to 2-11. Their record vs. No. 1s at Kyle Field fell to 1-5.
+ The loss snapped an eight-game winning streak by the Aggies, which was the third-longest in FBS.
+ Sophomore QB Johnny Manziel’s 464 passing yards established a new school record topping the 453 yards he passed for against Arkansas in 2012. It was the first time in school annals that a player passed for 400 yards in back-to-back games and it represented the seventh 400-yard passing game in school history (three by Manziel). The 464 passing yards ranked 11th in SEC history.
+ Manziel’s 562 yards of total offense ranks second in school and SEC history, behind his 576-yard effort against Louisiana Tech in 2012. He owns all four of A&M’s 500-yard games and the top three games in SEC history.
+ Manziel’s five TD passes in the game tied for fourth in Texas A&M history.
+ Manziel moved into ninth place on A&M’s career passing list with 4,690 yards.
EVANS’ RECORD DAY
+ Sophomore WR Mike Evans set an A&M record with 279 receiving yards, topping the mark of 250 set by Ken “Dude” McLean against Texas in 1965.
+ Evans’ 279 receiving yards was the fourth-best mark in SEC history and just 24 yards shy of the league mark by Arkansas’ Cobi Hamilton against Rutgers in 2012.
+ Evans ended the game 102 career receptions, tied for 12th place on A&M’s all-time list. He hit the 100-catch plateau in his 16th career game, which is the fastest in school history.
+ Evans moved into seventh place on A&M’s career list for receiving yards with 1,623.
+ Evans logged the fifth 100-yard receiving game of his career. He actually surpassed 100 yards after only seven minutes had elapsed and the Aggies had two offensive series. It marked the first time he recorded 100-plus yards in back-to-back games.
+ Malcome Kennedy caught six passes for 57 yards and three TDs. Kennedy, who entered the game with two TD receptions in 28 career games, came up one TD shy of the single-game school record of four set by Ryan Swope against Baylor in 2011. He became the seventh player in school history to log three-or-more TD receptions in a game.
+ Junior transfer Cameron Clear’s TD catch in the first quarter was the first of his A&M career. He was the fourth Aggie newcomer with a TD catch in 2013, joining true freshmen Ricky Seals-Jones and Ja’Quay Williams and Oklahoma transfer Brandon Williams. Another newcomer leads the team in rushing TDs -- Oregon transfer Tra Carson with four.
+ The Aggies had 10 players record receptions on the day. It marked the second consecutive game A&M had 10-or-more players log a reception after 11 against Sam Houston State.
+ Texas A&M started the season by scoring 40 or more points in each of the first three games of the season for just the second time in school history and the first time since 1941.
ABOUT THE OFFENSE...
+ The Aggies reached the 400-yard mark in total offense for the 15th time in 16 games under Coach Sumlin, including reaching the 500-yard mark for the 10th time and the 600-yard mark for the eighth time.
+ The Aggies eclipsed the 400-yard mark in passing offense for the second consecutive game, but just 10th time in school history. It marked the first time in school annals that the Aggies passed for 400-plus yards in consecutive games.
+ A&M’s 464 passing yards ranked third in school history, trailing just the 500-yard performance last week against Sam Houston State and 498 yards against Arkansas in 2012.
+ The 95-yard TD pass from Manziel to Evans in the fourth quarter is the second-longest pass in school history, trailing just a 96-yard pass from Randy McCown to Chris Taylor against Tulsa on September 18, 1999. The pass was the seventh-longest TD pass in SEC history.
12TH MAN, POLO, GAME CAPTAINS
+ For the second straight game, sophomore defensive back Sam Moeller (pronounced Miller) will be the 12th Man.
+ Wearing the #90 jersey in memory of fallen teammate Polo Manukainiu is senior defensive tackle Kirby Ennis (normally wears #42). Manukainiu died in a tragic car accident last summer.
+ The Aggies’ permanent team captains of seniors Ben Malena, Toney Hurd Jr. and Jake Matthews won the toss, and elected to receive the opening kickoff.
CROW’S #44 RETIRED
+ The iconic #44 jersey worn by Texas A&M’s first Heisman Trophy winner John David Crow was retired by the school during a halftime ceremony at Saturday’s Alabama vs. Texas A&M game at Kyle Field.
Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013 – College Station, Texas
Texas A&M vs. Alabama
Selected Texas A&M Post-Game Quotes
TEXAS A&M HEAD COACH KEVIN SUMLIN
On what he told the team after the game…
“Basically I just told them that we played a really good football team, that they’re the number one country in the team for a reason. I also told them I was proud of the effort. Nobody can say that this team quit. I told them that there’s always going to be a winner and a loser and that it’s not what happens to you right now but how you handle it. Last year we were dancing around on their field and having a good time and they probably felt like we do right now. We have a lot more football left, nine more games to play. Right now it’s pretty difficult to get though, but Monday we have to get back to work. Our goals are still out in front of us.”
On what he learned about the team from the players’ fight…
“Like I said, if you get one thing out this tonight it’s that this team doesn’t quit. There are a lot of things that we have to fix, but you give a lot of credit to Alabama. That’s a good football team with a lot of good players; veteran quarterback, real speed on the corners, and guys on the defense that have been in really big games. Some teams may or may not have shut down but we don’t have to worry about that with this team. That’s something that we’ve harped on since we got here but it wasn’t enough today. But like I said, you’ve got to give a lot of credit to Alabama, that’s a good team.”
On Mike Evans…
“Well you know he makes plays. He’s in there laying down, he’s tired, he played hard. He’s a 6’5” guy that can run like a 5’11” guy, he’s 225 lbs. There were times where he was double covered with a man underneath him and one over the top and we were able to run the ball in the third quarter because of that. We ran the ball I think ninety percent of the time because of things he created schematically in the secondary. Just because were not throwing him the ball doesn’t mean there’s a reason for it; were probably able to do other things at that point.”
On Johnny Manziel…
“Well he played Johnny-like, that’s about the way to put it. He scrambled around and made some plays but he also stayed in the pocket and remained efficient. With the two interceptions, one bounces off a guy’s helmet and the other one we probably could of ran a better route. He took some chances and got away with a couple things but I thought he also stood in there and made good throws, particularly in the red zone. He, like a number of other players, gave us an opportunity to stay in the ball game and we just couldn’t make enough plays to close it out.”
On scoring 42 points and not winning the game…
“I’ve been in this business for 26 years, so I’ve seen a lot of different games. Once you get into those kinds of games it’s just how it is, no matter what conference you’re playing in. I don’t think anyone saw that coming, but like I said, that’s the kind of game it was. They [Alabama] made some big plays on third downs, and made some plays that took a big chunk of yardage to keep us off-balance.”
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR MARK SNYDER
On rushing attack…
“There wasn’t much of a rushing attack early. In the second half once they got a little bit of a lead they started to pound us. They had some unbalance formations that we have never seen before. It took us until half time to get that fixed. That’s a good football team we just played. I think AJ McCarron played lights out today. It was two really good football teams going at it and we came up on the short end.”
On AJ McCarron…
“He has played a lot of football and he has a lot of weapons out there. You have to stop the run. We knew it was going to be a day of big plays. Last year as our big plays came down we started playing better defense. For us today it was a matter of big plays on our side of the ball that allowed them to get in the groove running the ball.”
On returning players performance …
“Based on my view from the sideline I think they played pretty well. I know what it looks like and that was two really good football teams going at it out there. I think Alabama has a really great defense. It was good to get those guys back and I thought most of them played really well.”
On A&M mistakes…
“We are going to learn a lot of lessons on Monday when we watch this film. I give Alabama credit they did a nice job. It’s hard if you haven’t been playing them to adjust to them. We had our guys back and we just got played better.”
On plan going into the game…
“The game plan changes a little bit. We said going in that AJ was going to have to beat us and he was on fire. Early I thought we were doing a decent job and then McCarron gets the ball out of his hands quickly, we miss a tackle, he does a flea flicker and it gives them the lead and now they can try to keep the ball away from our offense.”
JUNIOR OFFENSIVE LINEMAN CEDRIC OGBUEHI
On the tough loss…
“I’m proud we kept fighting. We could’ve given up, we could’ve not scored but Johnny kept telling us just keep playing, play hard and good things will happen and that’s what we did. We’re disappointed we lost but we did some good things that we can carry into next week.”
On how this game sets the tone for the rest of the season…
“Last year at this time around we beat Bama at their place and they still won a championship so we have to keep fighting and know that this isn’t the end of our season, we have to keep fighting. We have a lot more games to go and a lot more games to win. We played well, we played hard but we have to get better.”
SENIOR DEFENSIVE BACK TONEY HURD JR.
On forced turnover in fourth quarter…
“Coach Sumlin and Coach Snyder thought of a great play. We got some big guys in to fill them up on the run and we got a turnover.”
On Alabama’s passing game…
“First and foremost, hats off to AJ McCarron and their offensive coordinator. They dialed up some great plays. Defensively, in the back end sometimes we had bad eyes and sometimes we didn’t trust our cues and our techniques. They got us on a few big plays but I’m pretty sure Monday we will get back to work and get those things figured out.”
On the flea-flicker resulting in a touchdown…
“We loaded the box up and put the safeties in the box. They read run. The safeties came down and the corners had man-to-man on outside receivers. It was a great play by the offense. They got behind us on the back end and scored a touchdown.”
SOPHOMORE QUARTERBACK JOHNNY MANZIEL
On his impressions of the game…
“I am proud of these guys. The one thing I kept telling them, no matter what point it was in the game, was that we were never out of it. I told the offense going into it, that no matter what happens on the defensive side of the ball and no matter what happens with special teams, we felt like we could come out and score points. I was proud, initially, more than anything. I was proud of the way they kept fighting until the very end. We are a young team and that’s impressive to me.”
On the interception in the end zone…
“We felt good with the matchup. I will take that one on me. It was just a miscommunication. You can sit there and throw the ball a lot of different ways. You can drop it in the bucket, you can throw it high-back, you can throw it on the line back-shoulder. We were just on different pages. That’s on me. It’s either our ball or nobody’s. I know that and I know better than that. That was a big turning point in the game and I take responsibility for that one.”
On Mike Evans…
“I couldn’t be prouder of him. I was roommates with him last night in the hotel and we were just talking about how the game would turn out. I knew he was going to come out and play really well. In my eyes, Mike Evans is the best receiver in college football. I see him every day and every week I get to see how he works against defenders and it’s just amazing. A big guy like that who can really run and gives it his all every game is a great player.”
On impact of loss on the remainder of the season…
“We are just trying to go game-by-game. Just like last year, we are going to continue to get better and better week by week and the result is how we ended up in the Cotton Bowl. This isn’t the end of our season. This wasn’t the Super Bowl. This wasn’t the last game of the season. Alabama lost a game last year and still went on to win a national championship. They lost to LSU the year before and still went on to win a national championship. Our season isn’t over. Anything could happen. This is college football. Some of the craziest things happen every week so you never know how things will turn out. All we can do is take care of ourselves and continue to get better as a team.”
On pressure caused by hype of the game…
“To be honest, as much as people say it was such a big game I probably came out less nervous today than I was for any other game. What did we have to lose? The pressure wasn’t on us. The pressure was on Alabama to try and three-peat. We were just going to go and play our hearts out and leave it all on the field. That’s all we could do.”
On effect of offseason on performance…
“I worked this offseason to be a better passer and be better in the pocket and get better in those areas instead of freelancing as much. I think you can look at it today and our previous games and say that goal happened. You can go back, watch the games and have your assessment of it, but scoring that many points and doing what we did as a team, I don’t think offseason had anything to do with that.”
SOPHOMORE DEFENSIVE END JULIEN OBIOHA
On first thoughts after loss…
“Last year we went to Alabama and did the same exact thing. Last year we beat them on their own turf and they thought it was the end of their season but at the end of the season they actually ended up winning the National Championship. It’s not the end of the season. Coach Sumlin said ‘If you do your job and win all the rest of the games you can end up in Pasadena’, so it’s not the end of the season.”
On defensive line struggles…
“You can’t let a great quarterback like AJ McCarron not get hit or pressured at all. They ran a lot of play action, which doesn’t help the defensive line. We have to have a way to get pressure on the quarterback he is too good.”
On things said during halftime…
“Coach said ‘we have another half of football. Alabama is a great team. We just need to start causing some turnovers and make some stops and get our offense the ball back so they can do what they do.’”
On the bootleg…
“We worked on the bootleg all week. When we saw it I guess we weren’t expecting it. We just didn’t play it as well as we expected to. The bootleg is a great play if you run it when the defense isn’t expecting it, and I don’t think we were expecting it. We just didn’t execute as a defense.”
JUNIOR WIDE RECEIVER MALCOME KENNEDY
On close score…
“We were feeling great, we got a big swing of momentum. Everybody knows how fast our offense is and how fast we can score. The coaches all believed in us and believed we could get back in the game. Everybody felt good, we were just waiting for a stop so we could get back in and score again.”
On ups and downs…
“The fast start really excited us and reminded us of last year. We were really looking forward to going big and not looking back. As we got down we never really got discouraged. We know how fast our offense can score and we have more weapons than last year. The confidence level was never down. We really lifted each other up and pushed each other. The peaks and valleys weren’t really too much of a challenge.”
On the atmosphere…
“There was a lot of hype on this game, but Coach Sumlin is an extraordinary coach and he know how to coach us well. He talked us through it and it’s only the third game of the season. We feel like a lot of people said it was the biggest game of the season but we still have games to play. We beat them late last year and they thought their season was over but they went on to the national championship.”
On the final drive…
“It was another eye opener. Sometimes guys get down and feel like we can’t pull it off but we scored. It’s a big swing of momentum and you see life in all the guys’ eyes and the crowd comes alive. We felt like we had a chance to get the onside kick and score again. We practice those situations year in and year out so we are always prepared to go win a game.”
SENIOR RUNNING BACK BEN MALENA
On the comeback…
“Crazy things happen in this game. One thing you can’t do is ever give up. We just kept fighting and played until the end.”
On whether he thought A&M would win, given the yardage…
“Yeah I would think so, but the other team plays offense too. It’s a team sport, and it’s a tough loss. They are the number one team in the country for a reason. We knew coming in that it was going to be a four-quarter game. We came up on the short end this time, but it’s a learning experience. Monday we are going to just get back to work.”
On the positives of the game…
“This is a four-quarter game, and you can’t take anything for granted. We made some mistakes on offense that we could’ve corrected. Things didn’t go our way particularly in some parts of the game. Like I said it’s a learning experience, but you do have to play four quarters. You never give up.”
On the two turnovers that led to Alabama touchdowns…
“It’s a seven point loss. That correlates with it, but I don’t think that’s the reason we lost the game. They are the number one team in the country. They play football too, and it was a great team we played. Hats off to them.”
SOPHOMORE WIDE RECEIVER MIKE EVANS
On breaking the A&M single-game receiving record…
“I just tried to play as hard as I could. Johnny found me on a few big plays, but it wasn’t enough.”
On how he feels physically…
“I gave it all I had. I caught cramps at the end of the fourth. I feel kind of beat up like I played a whole season.”
On his performance…
“I didn’t block as well as I’m capable of, I know that. I did some things, made some big plays, but wasn’t enough in the end.”
On the importance of moving forward after this game…
“We lost to a great team. I feel that we’re a great team too. Anything can happen in this game. We’re just going to keep working hard every week and try to get back on top.”
On what you learned about yourself as a team…
“We got some warriors. We’re going to fight till the clock hits zero.”
On teammates referring to you as the best wide receiver in the country…
“I practice my butt off and try my best every day. If they want to say that then I love them for that.”
On Alabama changing its coverage…
“First they had number ten on me, then number five, and in the third, they put thirteen on me. They played man coverage mostly though.”
On what makes you and Johnny a great combo…
“We are roommates when we go to the hotel. We were on scout team our freshman year when we both redshirted. We just have a lot of fun together. We play basketball. He’s one of my best friends. I guess that’s where our connection comes in.”
On mindset as receiving corps…
“My mind just blows up. I just run, try to get open, and when he takes off, I try to block. I don’t know, I just run and get open.
Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013 – College Station, Texas
Texas A&M vs. Alabama
Selected Alabama Post-Game Quotes
HEAD COACH NICK SABAN
"Well that certainly was an outstanding football game. This was a tremendous environment. Texas A&M is a great institution and they have a great team. Our hats off to them for the way they competed. I was very proud of the way our guys competed in this game. A lot of guys got really tired out there and some were going in to get IVs in the second half. We wanted to improve as a team today, and we certainly did offensively. We did not play as well on defense against some very good players. When you don't fundamentally do things the way you're supposed to, you usually pay the price. We were trying to rush five guys and keep [Johnny] Manziel in the pocket and [Mike Evans] had his way with us. We improved as a team. Obviously we haven't put it all together yet. When you lose 30 percent of your team, you have to develop chemistry, and I think that is starting to happen. This was a great win for our players today. Johnny Manziel is a great competitor. He is a great player out there on the field. He makes a lot of plays with his feet and arm. You have to give A&M's coaching staff a lot of credit for the fanstastic job they did."
SENIOR QUARTERBACK A.J. McCARRON
On his approach against the Aggies…
"With the type of offense [Texas] A&M has, you have to eat up some clock and pound the ball. Overall, we did good. In our off week we had some of the best practices we have had as a team. The first game was not perfect, and we worked to get some of the kinks out. The whole game coach allowed me to check in and out of plays. He would give me a run call, and I know that I have certain checks out of it. Coach left it in my hand today to get us in the right play."
SENIOR WIDE RECEIVER KENNY BELL
On his teammates’ performances…
"T.J. [Yeldon] sealed the game for us. He had a costly fumble but he stuck with it and kept running. A.J. [McCarron] played good; he got in his groove. The sky is the limit with A.J. and he doesn't give up. We have an explosive offense and every time we get the ball we expect to score."
SENIOR LINEBACKER C.J. MOSLEY
On the victory…
"It was a great win. It was a little sloppy but we came out with a W. It was a lot of work chasing around [Johnny] Manziel. Our offense did a great job of keeping A&M off the field. We expected Manziel to move around the pocket to make plays, and he did what he did. A&M came out fast like they did last year, and we just answered back. The offense did a great job of bailing us out. We made some stops, but at the end of the day, we can't give up so many big plays."