Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Another defensive score sparks Tide

Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts gets out of bounds as Texas A&M defensive back Armani Watts gives chase in the second half.

Associated Press

Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts gets out of bounds as Texas A&M defensive back Armani Watts gives chase in the second half.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — When Alabama couldn't shake Texas A&M in a battle of unbeaten Top 10 teams, it was Jonathan Allen's scoop-and-score defensive touchdown that effectively brushed aside the latest would-be challenger.

What else?

A star defensive end, Allen returned a fumble 30 yards for a touchdown in the final seconds of the third quarter to help Alabama beat the sixth-ranked Aggies 33-14 Saturday. The Crimson Tide has scored on defense or special teams in 10 straight games, a streak as impressive as its 20 straight wins.

Alabama moved on as the powerhouse league's last unbeaten team in part thanks to Allen. He scooped up the ball after Ryan Anderson knocked it loose from Keith Ford to finally build a cushion over the Aggies, who led 14-13 well into the third.

"You know you don't think about it," Allen said. "It's all reaction. We just train ourselves to pick up all loose balls in practices and it's good to see it happening in the game."

It's happening again and again.

The score was 20-14 when Allen pushed Alabama's season total of defensive or special teams scores to 12. Allen has scored twice on fumble returns.

"I think that was the real turning point in the game, because it changed the momentum of the game," Tide coach Nick Saban said. "Those plays are always huge in games, but that one was especially huge."

The Tide, however, sustained a big loss when safety Eddie Jackson was injured in the fourth quarter and didn't come back after a punt return. Saban said Jackson, a senior and team leader, is out for the season with a broken leg.

Alabama's freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts then galloped 37 yards for another score, stepping out of a defender's grasp and making a nifty move to get past another. The Tide was rolling again, a powerful encore to easy wins over ranked Tennessee and Arkansas teams.

The Aggies seemed poised to put up the biggest fight, with a defense that kept the pressure on Hurts and a handful of big runs by quarterback Trevor Knight. Then Allen and Anderson changed that in an instant. Costly penalties hurt the Aggies, too, including a roughing the passer penalty to keep Alabama's go-ahead touchdown drive going earlier in the third.

"You really have five minutes in the game that determined what happened," Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said. "We extended the drive with the roughing the passer, then we extended the drive again, I think it was an offsides. So you back that up with a fumble returned for a touchdown in a game like this, against a team like that, that can't happen."

NO. 21 AUBURN 56, NO. 17 ARKANSAS 3: Eli Stove broke free for a 78-yard touchdown run on the host Tigers' first play, giving them momentum they never lost in a surprisingly dominant victory.

Auburn held out starting running back Kerryon Johnson and still ran for 543 yards, a school record for a conference regular-season game. With former star Bo Jackson watching, Kamryn Pettway had 192 yards rushing with two touchdowns. Johnson ran well in pregame warmups but did not play after hurting his right ankle against Mississippi State on Oct. 8.

Auburn has won four straight.

The Tigers held the Razorbacks to 215 total yards, including 25 rushing. Rawleigh Williams ran for 22 yards a week after he had a career-high 180 in a 34-30 win over Mississippi.

"We played a complete game," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. "Holding that group to 25 yards rushing was really unbelievable."

S.C. 34, UMASS 28: The Gamecocks offense finally opened things up. Freshman quarterback Jake Bentley was a big reason why.

Bentley threw for two touchdowns and 201 yards in his first college game to lead host South Carolina, which set a season high for points.

"We just really opened up the playbook when Jake was back there, because we know he can throw it very well," said receiver Deebo Samuel, who had eight catches for 106 yards.

MTSU 51, MIZZOU 45: Middle Tennessee had 584 total yards and made a key fourth-down stop with less than a minute left, handing the Tigers their first home loss to a non-Power Five team since joining the SEC in 2012. Missouri also allowed its most points ever in a homecoming game. The Blue Raiders beat an SEC team for the fourth time in 26 tries.

Another defensive score sparks Tide 10/22/16 [Last modified: Saturday, October 22, 2016 11:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021

    Bucs

    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also peering …

    Santonio Holmes hauls in the game-winning touchdown in the Steelers' 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Cardinals in 2009, the last time Tampa hosted a Super Bowl. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  2. Rays bats go silent in second straight loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Sure, Alex Cobb was to blame for the Rays' 4-0 loss on Tuesday.

    Derek Norris strikes out with the bases loaded as the Rays blow a golden opportunity in the seventh inning.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb made mistakes on back-to-back pitches to the first two Angels hitters Tuesday, allowing homers to Cameron Maybin and Mike Trout, but otherwise gave the Rays another solid outing, working into the eighth and scattering seven hits.

  4. Rays journal: Brad Miller won't return from DL when eligible

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — 2B Brad Miller (left abdominal strain) will not return from the 10-day disabled list Friday as he hoped. While he took ground balls Tuesday, he has yet to resume running.

    Rays second baseman Brad Miller, left, with infielder Tim Beckham, says he’s letting his left abdominal strain “cool down” before testing it by running.
  5. USF baseball rallies to beat Tulane in AAC tournament opener

    College

    CLEARWATER — With Tulane runners on first and second and two out in the top of the ninth inning Tuesday, USF's dugout watched as burly American Athletic Conference co-player of the year Hunter Williams' fly to left went deep.

    USF outfielder Chris Chatfield is congratulated by third-base coach Chris Cates after hitting a three-run homer in the third inning, tying the score at 3.