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Alabama came out of the half with a significantly more lively offensive attack than what they had shown in the first half (apart from a few explosive plays). Milroe was effectively attacking coverages underneath rather than being constrained to over-the-top shots, and the offensive line was managing the pressure better than they had been in the first two periods.
That was until Edgerrin Cooper came blazing off the edge to hit Milroe from his blind side. It was a massive hit that jarred the ball loose, and, after a scrum, Alabama came back up with it—though moved back about 10 yards when all was said and done. The Tide then faced a long third down, and the crowd noise forced them to take a timeout. Coming back from that break, things went no better, as Milroe threw a pick to a waiting Bryce Anderson. This looked to be a huge momentum swing—if the Aggies could get a score of any kind, then they would move it to a two-possession game.
What actually took place, however, was the one thing that you didn’t want to see as a Texas A&M football fan. With pressure in his face, Max Johnson forced out an ill-advised pass to his brother that floated just long enough for star freshman safety Caleb Downs to come up and pick it. He battled with Jake for the ball for a moment, and there was a question as to whether he had possession briefly afterwards, but he ended up giving Alabama possession back essentially right back where they had been. A few plays later, the Tide scored a touchdown on a perfectly-placed ball by Milroe to Burton to tie the game. Not to call out any individual players, but if you watch the tape, you’ll see a marked difference in pass protection by the running back when Max threw his interception vs. the pass protection by the running back when Milroe threw his touchdown.
That interception is where things seemed to all but unravel for the Aggie offense, and they really wouldn’t get anything going again until late in the fourth quarter. Whether that was due to increased intensity by Alabama, hesitation or pressing by Johnson, or lack of adjustments I’m not sure (likely a combination), but this was clearly a key moment in the game