Tuscaloosa, Ala. — Despite not having a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback and returning the ball four times, No. 1 Alabama was defeated by Texas A&M 24-20 on Saturday night.
Bryce YoungThe Crimson Tide’s star quarterback has not played as he continues to recover from his throwing shoulder injury.
Second year Jalan Milro Struggled in his place, throwing three touchdowns while turning the ball over three times (one interception and two fumbles).
Alabama coach Nick Saban pointed to his team’s 111 passing yards and said, “So there’s got to be something better in the passing game.”
“I don’t put it all on him,” he said of Milrow. “I’m just saying we’ve got to do a better job on defense. We need to run a better career path. And we need to do a better job of making good decisions in the pocket, so we don’t have that. negative dramas.”
Alabama running back Jace McClellan lost a hitch, Will Reichert Missed two field goals and twice the offense reached the end zone without putting points on the board. Alabama’s (6-0) four turnovers were its most in a game since 2015 against Ole Miss.
A pass interference penalty gave Texas A&M (3-3) the ball at the 2-yard line with three seconds left in the contest. But pass Heinz King to do Evan Stewart fell incomplete.
“There’s no such thing as a moral victory, but it shows what we’re capable of, how we play and the things we can do,” Aggies coach Jimbo Fisher said. “Next week we’re going to regroup and play better and finish these last six games the way we’ve been playing all year. It gives us a glimpse of what we can be and what we can do. .”
As Fisher added, “We battled. They’re a good team. We were a good team today and played a little game.”
Saban looked back on the game and said it was “not winning football.”
Saban said the Tide’s second-team quarterback needs everyone to play better.
“Jalen did some good things, but obviously, two turnovers,” Saban said. “But he’s going to live and learn, and we’re going to live and learn with him.
“So we’ll see what progress Price makes next week.”
Saban said he wanted Young to play in the fourth quarter.
He praised Young’s leadership, encouraging Milrow throughout the tilt. Young found Milrow after the game and the two shared a long hug.
“Bryce is a good leader,” Saban said. “That’s what good leaders do. They set a good example.”
Milrow, who was second on the team in rushing with 83 yards, called the game a learning experience.
“I’m happy,” he said. “You know, we’ll turn the tape on and fix what we need to fix, but right now, I’m excited.”
Fisher scoffed at the idea that Saturday’s game was closer because of Young’s absence, pointing out that the Aggies were also missing key players.
“We don’t have it Aeneas Smith,” Fisher said of the wide receiver, who left with a season-ending injury. “We didn’t have our left tackle. We have no left guard. This is our first time [defensive tackle] McKinley Jackson. We don’t have [defensive lineman] Shemar Turner. We were also short-handed throughout the year.
“We don’t look for depression, and he doesn’t either. I know Nick. He’s not going to be bothered. We were also playing a backup quarterback. So there were two good teams battling it out. He went for it.”
Alabama’s defense is led by a standout linebacker Will Anderson Jr, put pressure on King and Aggies all night. Anderson completed eight of the team’s 14 quarterback hurries. He had 12 pressures in the game, which is the most in the nation this season.
King who caused an injury Max JohnsonHe was sacked three times.
Alabama travels to No. 8 Tennessee next Saturday.
ESPN’s Chris Lowe contributed to this report.
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