Tide's Tua has career day against A&M

Alabama moves to 4-0 with 45-23 win

By CODY ESTREMERA, For the Eagle
Posted 9/23/18

TUSCALOOSA— It took just eight seconds for Alabama to score first on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

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Tide's Tua has career day against A&M

Alabama moves to 4-0 with 45-23 win

Posted

TUSCALOOSA— It took just eight seconds for Alabama to score first on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

After a Mack Wilson interception, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa found DeVonta Smith in the end zone for a 30-yard touchdown.

That was just the beginning as the Tide earned a 45-23 win over No. 22 Texas A&M.

Tagovailoa continued to control the game, as the sophomore threw for a career high 387 yards and added five total touchdowns. He found three different receivers for his four passing touchdowns.

“We have a lot of good weapons on our team,” tight end Hale Hentges said. “That just goes to show you what kind of people we recruit here, and when they get here they work hard.”

Henry Ruggs led all receivers with 84 yards, while Hentges finished with a pair of catches for touchdowns.

Hentges’ touchdowns came off his second and third catches of the season.

“I never dreamed of getting two,” Hentges said. I always thought about catching one, but two is a dream come true.”

The running game continued to pale compared to the passing game. Alabama finished with just 109 rushing yards. Before Damien Harris’ 35-yard run at the 2:30 mark in the third quarter, Alabama had run for just 46 yards.

“I think people know that we can run the ball,” Harris said. “Our offense is based around getting players the ball. Whoever has the hot hand is kind of who we’re going to feed. We have so many playmakers on the field that it’s kind of hard to get everyone the ball.”

Defensively, the Crimson Tide had one of its more uneven performances.

It put pressure on quarterback Kellen Mond throughout the entire game, finishing with seven sacks. Isaiah Buggs finished with a game-high three sacks, seven tackles and two quarterback hurries.

“I think it was really important,” coach Nick Saban said. “I think that’s one of the things that contributed on third down. We just had a lot of long-yardage situations.”

The Crimson Tide held the Aggies to just 3-of-12 on third downs and forced four three-and-outs.

The pass rush also forced two interceptions. The first one came on the second play of the game. Quinnen Williams put pressure on Mond, who shoveled a pass out towards a receiver.

Wilson jumped the route and intercepted the pass.

The second interception came late in the second quarter. Mond threw a post route, which freshman cornerback Patrick Surtain jumped and returned it 20 yards to the Texas A&M 45.

“He plays good technique,” cornerback Trevon Diggs said. “He kept his eyes on the receiver and they ran a scissors route. He just stayed high on his receiver and made a great play on the ball… I feel like he’s going to have a lot of success.”

The pressure forced Mond to scramble. The sophomore quarterback ran for 98 yards on a touchdown. Overall, the Aggies ran for 130 yards.

“He really hurt us with three big play runs,” Saban said. “One was a quarterback draw. The other two were counters… We didn’t play the plays correctly.”

Alabama takes on Louisiana Lafayette on Sept. 29 for its next game.