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No. 11 Alabama eyes revenge for last trip to Texas A&M

Texas A&M pulled off a big upset the last time Alabama came to town.

The Crimson Tide were the top-ranked team in the nation two seasons ago when the Aggies celebrated a 41-38 victory as time expired.

Texas A&M strives for another memorable win Saturday when it faces No. 11 Alabama in Southeastern Conference action in College Station, Texas.

The teams share the lead in SEC West with identical records — 4-1 overall, 2-0 SEC — and own three-game winning streaks.

But the contest is certainly bigger for the unranked Aggies, who are just 3-12 all-time against the Crimson Tide.

“There’s nothing we can do about it, Alabama is Alabama,” Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said. “They’re a great team. What we have to do is get prepared to play Alabama and whoever you’re playing, because each game is a big game.”

The Crimson Tide are trying to stay in the national championship picture as the early September loss to then-No. 11 Texas has placed them in must-win mode every week.

Alabama coach Nick Saban expressed that he is tired of the scrutiny. He prefers that people just let the situation play itself out, week-by-week.

“Look, we’re trying to improve one game at a time,” Saban said. “I can’t tell you where we’re ranked. I can’t tell you what the standings are. I think everybody kind of realizes the importance of every game that we play.

“So, the whole focus is how can we play better? How can we play good? How can we improve? Not worried about some outcome-orientated thing that might happen two months from now.”

Quarterback Jalen Milroe improved during last Saturday’s 40-17 road victory over Mississippi State. Milroe rushed for two touchdowns and completed 10 of 12 passes for 164 yards.

Milroe’s first career start came last season against the Aggies when Bryce Young was injured. He passed for three touchdowns in a 24-20 home victory.

He’s extra excited about Saturday’s game as a native of Katy, Texas, about 80 miles southeast of College Station.

“I will have a lot of family there,” Milroe said. “It’s going to be a great game, a great atmosphere. We have a challenge this week. Big opponent. They have a great defense, a great offense. So we’re excited.”

In the victory over Mississippi State, Chris Braswell returned an interception for a touchdown and the Alabama defense held Will Rogers to 107 yards passing. One week earlier, Rogers threw for a career-best 487 yards against South Carolina.

Milroe has been sacked four or more times in three of his four starts. That could pose a problem against a Texas A&M defense that has posted seven in each of the past two games and has 20 for the season.

The Aggies are coming off a 34-22 victory over Arkansas at Arlington, Texas. Max Johnson passed for 210 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in Texas A&M’s first game since Conner Weigman suffered a season-ending foot injury.

Ainias Smith returned a punt 82 yards for a score for the Aggies. He is averaging 18.1 yards per return.

Smith caught two touchdown passes in the 2021 upset of Alabama.

“Every little thing is going to count, especially this week,” Smith said. “And I mean, it’s not even so much that we’re looking at Bama as, ‘Oh, it’s Bama.’ It’s just another week to us.”

–Field Level Media

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