Texas A&M achieved the unexpected by ending No. 1 Alabama’s 58-quarter streak of holding a lead, then ended the Crimson Tide’s 19-game winning streak with a 41-38 win on Saturday at Kyle Field. Here are three quick takes from the game.
1. Chanting his name: Early in the third quarter, the A&M student section began chanting quarterback Zach Calzada’s last name in a strong departure from reactions toward the sophomore the last two weeks. Calzada began the game 10-for-10 passing with two touchdowns. His only blemish of the first half was an interception. He finished 21-of-31 for 285 yards and three touchdowns. After taking a hard shot to the knee on a game-tying 25-yard TD pass to Ainias Smith, Calzada gutted out the final drive that resulted in the game-winning field goal.
2. Goons again: Another revamped mix of offensive linemen struck the right chord for the Aggies. All-American Kenyon Green moved to left tackle alongside guard Blake Trainor. Freshman Bryce Foster played center with Layden Robinson and Reuben Fatheree II to his right. While the Aggies only managed 94 yards on the ground, Calzada had a clean pocket for most of the night, and A&M’s line avoided the kind of unnecessary penalties that have plagued the unit.
3. Mentor beaten: A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher took a lot of flack for his play-calling the last three games, but he outmatched Alabama’s Nick Saban on Saturday night. Fisher also became the first former Saban assistant to beat the head coach in 25 tries, and he did it on his birthday, no less.
— TRAVIS L. BROWN