Texas A&M put pressure on Hurts all night, getting to him three times for sacks, and finishing with two quarterback hurries.
The best player for Alabama on defense did make a big play when it was needed. Just to be sure, Tyrel Dodson earned a sack the old-fashioned way in the second quarter while the pocket collapsed around Hurts.
Texas A&M entered Saturday's clash as 25.5-point underdogs, according to Odds Shark, so the result was hardly surprising.
Offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks on prior to the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship Game against the Clemson Tigers at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 11, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Tide doesn't kill its own drives.
-QB Jalen Hurts will be playing the first game of his career in the Houston area, which is where he's from.
Ruggs also came on in replace of an injured Calvin Ridley on a third-quarter series after Ridley, the Tide's leading receiver this season, left the field gingerly after a 30-yard completion on the third play of the second half Saturday.
Texas A&M hit a hot streak late in the third quarter. Hurts dropped back and threw a strike to Robert Foster. He made plays with his arm and legs against SC in helping the Aggies come back from a 10-point deficit in the second half.
A&M's defense then got a stop, after which J.K. Scott shanked a punt.
Aggies true freshman signal-caller Kellen Mond had his hands full against the nation's top-ranked scoring defense, but he showed flashes of brilliance. Harris was coming for the castle and he wanted to be running back king. His end zone interception sealed the overtime win over Arkansas.
Nick Saban has proven that he is not afraid to open the season against a top school from a Power Five conference almost every year.
The crowd in College Station was rocking, and A&M was set to get the ball. Daniel LaCamera would convert a 52-yard field goal that just made it over the crossbar, giving A&M a 3-0 lead. Nick is clearly driven to make sure the entire team uses the TAMU game as a valuable lesson. Mond then ran the ball up the gut for a one-yard touchdown, pulling the Aggies within striking distance at 27-19. "He said 'What's wrong with you today?' I said 'My girlfriend broke up with me.' He said 'Well, you've got one problem, but if you keep treating the customers bad you're going to have two more". After watching film, you can bet Nick Saban knows that A&M needs separation to be successful.
Alabama never completely woke up from a stupor.
However, unlike Alabama, their offense depends on yards after the catch. "I've been really, really proud of the way our family at the University of Alabama has helped whenever other people have had tragedies that they've had to deal with and circumstances that we can help them overcome". Scarbrough finished with 55 yards on a team-high 15 carries. That veneer is gone.
Are the Tide the best team in the country right now?