The Texas A&M football team entered their game against the Alabama Crimson Tide with two losses and a massive chip on their shoulder. After originally being slated as ‘Bama’s biggest competitor prior to the season, the Aggies had a disappointing start to their year, losing two of their first five games.
It wasn’t the end of the world, but with expectations of an SEC West title and College Football Playoff appearance, things felt dire. That said, they had an opportunity to turn their season around with a matchup against Alabama where the Aggies had nothing to lose.
It was a classic trap game setup, with the Tide coming off of a pair of emotional victories in the prior few weeks and being forced to head into a terrifying Kyle Field environment.
Zach Calzada and his offense that looked dead in the water suddenly came to life.
The Texas A&M football team has Alabama on their heels, leading the Tide at halftime
At the half, Texas A&M is leading the Tide, 24 to 10.
For perspective, leading Alabama at halftime is no small feat. Heck, leading Alabama at all is something that almost never happens. A&M’s early lead was the first time any team had held a lead against the Tide in 15 games, going all the way back to early in 2020.
How did the Aggies do it?
For starters, they created turnovers, which was one of my keys to pulling off an upset against the Tide. If A&M can win the turnover battle — something that they’ve struggled with this season — they’ll have a chance at winning this game.
The other two keys? Creating some semblance of an offense and getting some dumb luck. So far, the Aggies have had both of those factors in their favor.
That said, it’s not just dumb luck — this is a Jimbo Fisher-led A&M squad that is putting in work on both ends of the ball. The defense has been extremely stingy and the offense, for the first time this season, has been serviceable.
In all honesty, this doesn’t look like an upset — it looks like the better football team is winning this game.
On the night, A&M is winning the turnover battle 2-1, with a fumble recovery and a crucial red zone interception that prevented ‘Bama from getting close. That said, Zach Calzada threw an unfortunate interception late in the second quarter that set the Aggies back a bit. Still, they lead the turnover battle at halftime, which is more than many expected.
The Aggies are leading ‘Bama in total yardage on the night with a 258 to 209 edge. If they can replicate this in the second half, the chances that Jimbo Fisher will successfully “beat Alabama’s ass” will grow exponentially.
If the Aggies want to finish the upset, they have to give the same type of effort in the second half. No mistakes on offense and feisty defense. This one is within reach for A&M.