That was fun. For losing a game, that was an incredible jolt of adrenaline, pride, and hope. For the first time in a long time, Kyle Field lived up to its billing and created an atmosphere that struck fear into a number 1 visiting team. This week is all about the defense.
1 Blocked punt. Alabama punter JK Scott gave up the first blocked punt of his career in 2015 as a sophomore when the Tide came to Kyle Field. As a senior, he again gave up his first block of the season to 12th Man Cullen Gillaspia that resulted in an Aggie safety to cut the score to 24-12 in the fourth.
1 catch, 1 yard. This was the entire output by Alabama tight ends. Considering what tight ends have been doing to us this year, that is astonishing.
9 TFL. The front seven had been pressuring the QB at a frenetic pace, and we pretty much knew that repeating their 6 and 7 sack performances from the last two weeks was going to be a stretch, but they managed three sacks of Jalen Hurts and a total of nine tackles behind the line. Not bad considering the opponent.
16 tackles by Tyrel Dodson. #25 was flying all over the field. Added 2.5 TFL, a sack, and a couple of QB hurries. This is exactly what you want from a middle linebacker, especially against a team like Alabama.
29%: 3rd down conversions. The Ags held Alabama to 4-of-14 on third downs. This is well below their season average of 42%.
30: the longest pass play allowed. WOW. The pass defense had been taking some lumps this year but last night was a solid effort. Aggie receivers had three receptions longer than this.
36 quarters. That’s how long the Tide had gone without committing a turnover (going back to last year’s Auburn game) before Debione Renfro stripped WR Robert Foster and Deshawn Capers-Smith recovered. Landis Durham had another forced fumble that Alabama recovered. The Ags lost the turnover margin 3-1.
355 yards allowed. To the #1 Death Machine Offense. Alabama was averaging just under 650 yards of offense per game against their first two SEC foes. The only team to hold them to fewer yards this season was Florida State in week one.
These are all good, bright, positive things. But it’s meaningless if the team can’t capitalize on this momentum and ride that confidence into The Swamp and take care of business against Florida. This week might be an even better test than Alabama as far as seeing what this team is made of.