COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- No. 10 Alabama took advantage of multiple Texas A&M turnovers to pull away for a 41-23 victory over the No. 9 Aggies at Kyle Field. Here's a rundown:
What the win means for Alabama: The Crimson Tide remain alive in the SEC West chase. Alabama (6-1, 3-1 SEC) has won four straight games since its Week 3 home loss to Ole Miss, and though the Tide are still behind undefeated LSU, they will get their chance with the Tigers on Nov. 7. Because Ole Miss' loss on Saturday came to a nonconference team, the Rebels still hold a tiebreaker over Alabama. And there's still a lot of football to be played. Alabama seems to be improving each week, and that's a good sign for Nick Saban and his team as they turn their attention to Tennessee next Saturday.
What the loss means for Texas A&M: It's the Aggies' first loss of the season, and skeptics will wonder whether this is the beginning of a downward slide akin to what was witnessed in 2014, when the Aggies (5-1, 2-1) lost three in a row after starting 5-0. This Texas A&M team has a different feel, however, and simply must do two things better: take care of the football and defend the run. Those are the two areas they struggled with the most Saturday, and it cost them. The Aggies will jump on a plane for the first time next week when they travel to Ole Miss. If they want to remain in the SEC West title conversation, the Aggies must win out.
How the game was won: Alabama turned four Texas A&M turnovers into 23 points. Three turnovers led directly to defensive points as Minkah Fitzpatrick (33 yards, 55 yards) and Eddie Jackson (93 yards) returned interceptions for touchdowns. Jackson's pick-six gave Alabama a commanding 28-6, first-half lead. While A&M inched back in the second half, the Aggies never pulled closer than eight points. Fitzpatrick's second pick-six, with 5:18 remaining in the fourth quarter, put the ballgame away. The Crimson Tide supplemented those turnovers with a strong performance at the line of scrimmage, compiling 258 rushing yards.
Player of the game: Alabama running back Derrick Henry had a big day, rolling to 236 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 32 carries. He started in dominant fashion with 153 rushing yards in the first quarter alone on nine carries. The Aggies were able to slow him down later in the day, but he still finished with an impressive total and also had an 18-yard reception.
Stat of the game: The Crimson Tide won despite converting only 4 of 16 third-down attempts, a 25 percent success rate.