Alabama afterglow remains shaken as Texas A&M focuses on Missouri

COLLEGE STATION – Texas A&M defensive end Tyree Johnson, with enthusiastic Aggie fans still swarming Kyle Field, was ready to move on from A&M’s most stunning victory in nearly a decade.

“We can’t be distracted by this one game alone,” Johnson said after the then Aggies’ 41-38 overturn. 1 Alabama, the reigning national champions, late Saturday night. “We still have six or seven to do. “

Johnson and his teammates realize they need to turn their attention to Missouri on Saturday if they intend to keep the momentum going, but the afterglow at College Station was shining brightly until Sunday after the Aggies rolled over the tide to Kyle.

“It was like there were 100,000 (fans) on the field with us all night,” said A&M kicker Seth Small, whose 28-yard field goal at the expiration of time shocked the Aggies. . “The ’12th man’ resists everything. The students – they don’t sit down. And he was excited the whole game.

The Aggies (4-2, 1-2 SEC) had dropped from seventh to 15th in the Associated Press’s top 25 after back-to-back losses to Arkansas and Mississippi State, but they returned to the 21st on Sunday after Alabama’s first loss. since November 2019 against Auburn, in 20 games.

A&M fans rushed onto the pitch after Small’s kick slammed into the left upright, and a video from the CBS branch in Birmingham, Ala., Showed the coach of the Alabama Nick Saban was rushed off the field by several police officers, with Saban, 69, tripping slightly on a cable along the way. An officer also pushed a ventilator as the group approached the southeast exit tunnel.

“Everyone has to remember what they are feeling and not forget it, because when I talk about respecting the victory, that’s what I mean,” said Saban. “You want to avoid the feeling that you have when you lose, so there were a lot of lessons to be learned.”

Alabama under Saban had won their previous 100 games against unranked opponents dating back to 2007.

“(The Aggies) made the plays they needed to make to win the game, and we didn’t make the plays we needed to win the game,” said Saban. “I hope we learn a lot from this. And we can still do whatever we want to accomplish, but we have to do it better than we did (Saturday).

The Crimson Tide (5-1, 2-1) went from first to fifth in the AP poll, and Saban is hoping for a 2012 repeat for Alabama. In November of that year, A&M upset the top-ranked Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa, Ala, but Alabama recovered to win their last four games, including the 2012 national title game against Our Lady before the start of the four-team college football playoffs. later.

SEC East Power Georgia took over at No.1, and the Bulldogs are followed by Iowa, Cincinnati and Oklahoma. Meanwhile, A&M coach Jimbo Fisher couldn’t have imagined a better gift for his 56th birthday than an A&M victory after the two surprising losses to Arkansas and Mississippi State.

Fisher said that getting the Aggies back on track in the league meant so much more than losing Saban to one of his former assistants for the first time in 25 tries. Fisher, who was Saban’s offensive coordinator in the early 2000s at LSU, is now 1-4 against his former boss.

“Nick is a hell of a football coach… and I consider him a great friend,” said Fisher. “What matters to me is that our football team learns to play against other good football teams and to be successful.”

Fisher added of a former Saban assistant finally beating the iconic coach: “It was inevitable – someone was going to do it in time. That was us, and that’s great. But that doesn’t mean anything. for me because it’s not a goal I’m trying to talk about or achieve.I want our program to work well, that’s the only thing that matters to me.

Despite having beaten the nation’s No.1 team, the Aggies are likely absent from the SEC West and national title races due to the two losses to start the conference game. A&M behind second-year quarterback Zach Calzada will look to end the regular season with six wins and possibly New Years Bowl for a second straight season under Fisher.

“We (lost) two games that we shouldn’t have had, and now we have six left,” Fisher said of the midseason. “It was a great victory, and it shows you what you are capable of. Now, can we respond and figure out how to go and prepare like that on Monday and forget about this thing and learn from the things that we did right and correct the mistakes and move on and go play a good Missouri team?

“We will find out what this means in the future, how we will respond to it.”

Missouri (3-3, 0-2) comes off a 48-35 home victory over North Texas in a non-conference contest. The Tigers have a two-game winning streak against A&M, from 2013 to 2014 and shortly after both universities left the Big 12 for the SEC.

“Coach Fisher is a great coach, and he tells us that we can be a dangerous team if we all come together and work hard,” said A&M running back Devon Achane, whose 96 kick return. yards for a touchdown gave the Aggies a 31. -17 leads halfway through the third quarter on Saturday. “We have shown that we can be great. We just have to keep doing what we’ve been doing.

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Joseph D. Whitman

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