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Tide returns 3 INTs for TDs to rout Aggies

Alabama defensive back Eddie Jackson takes off on a 93-yard interception return for a touchdown in the first half.

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Alabama defensive back Eddie Jackson takes off on a 93-yard interception return for a touchdown in the first half.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Alabama kept scoring on passes — all thrown by Texas A&M.

Crimson Tide quarterback Jake Coker was fine with that.

"Three touchdowns defensively is hard to beat," he said. "I will take that any day."

Derrick Henry ran for a career-high 236 yards and two scores and No. 10 Alabama added a school-record three touchdowns on interception returns for a 41-23 win over No. 9 Texas A&M on Saturday.

Alabama built a 28-6 lead in the second quarter thanks to 55- and 6-yard touchdown runs by Henry, and interception returns of 33 and 93 yards.

Christian Kirk returned a punt 68 yards for a score just before halftime, and Texas A&M added another touchdown on a 3-yard reception by Ricky Seals-Jones after a fumble early in the third to cut it to 28-20.

But Alabama kicked two field goals before Minkah Fitzpatrick's 55-yard interception return for a score — his second of the game — made it 41-23.

"We had a lot of guys play a lot of plays. They got hot, they got tired, and we got our second wind and kept playing," Alabama coach Nick Saban said.

Kyle Allen, who entered the game having thrown 79 passes without an interception, was 20-of-40 for 263 yards with a touchdown and a career-high three interceptions. Freshman Kyler Murray took over for a few possessions and was also picked off.

"You can't play the way we did by giving away 21 points against a quality football team and expect to win," Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said.

The Aggies got within 34-23 with a 36-yard field goal with about eight minutes left. They were driving again after a stop on defense when Fitzpatrick became the first player in Alabama history to return two interceptions for TDs in a game.

"Three scores on defense is unprecedented probably and some kind of record," Saban said. "Minkah with two is fantastic for the freshman."

Henry, who extended his school record by scoring in his 12th straight game, surpassed his previous career-best of 148 yards rushing with 10 minutes left in the second quarter.

A crowd of 105,733 including former President George H.W. Bush and wife Barbara, Astros star Carlos Correa and former A&M and current Bucs receiver Mike Evans attended the game.

S.C. 19, Vandy 10: Steve Spurrier wasn't on the sideline for South Carolina. But his visor was, waved by interim coach Shawn Elliott as he ran on the field. And Elliott's first game for the Gamecocks ended like many of Spurrier's did— with a win.

Pharoh Cooper caught seven passes for 160 yards, including South Carolina's only touchdown.

Spurrier wasn't in Columbia, choosing instead to join ESPN at the Michigan State-Michigan game in Ann Arbor. But Elliott wanted to make sure he did something for the man who gave him this opportunity.

"I know I wanted to do something to pay tribute to him. And I thought what better way than to bring out the visor," Elliott said. Spurrier's signature headgear and an opponent the Gamecocks typically dominate appeared to do the trick. South Carolina is 21-4 against Vanderbilt and has won seven straight over the Commodores.

For the first time since 1999, S.C. started a game without a coach who won a national championship on the sideline. Spurrier resigned Tuesday during his 11th season after he had taken over for Lou Holtz.

Cooper's third-quarter touchdown turned the tables after Vanderbilt scored a touchdown late in the second quarter and a field goal in its first second-half possession to take a 10-6 lead.

Miss. State 45, La. Tech 20: Dak Prescott passed for three touchdowns and ran for another for the host Bulldogs, who rallied from an early 14-0 deficit in the first quarter and finished the first half with 24 points. Jeff Driskel, the transfer from Florida, passed for 303 yards and two TDs for Tech.

GEORGIA 9, MIZZOU 6: Senior Marshall Morgan overcame a missed 26-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to boot a 34-yard winner with 1:49 remaining in the game for the host Bulldogs, who held the Tigers to 26 yards rushing.

Tide returns 3 INTs for TDs to rout Aggies 10/17/15 [Last modified: Saturday, October 17, 2015 11:09pm]
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