If Alabama is struggling to adjust under new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin's system, it didn't show Saturday. The Tide seemingly did whatever they wanted against Texas A&M, jumping to a 45-0 halftime victory before cruising to a 59-0 win.
The domination was staggering -- before Texas A&M's last drive of the first half, the Aggies had as many negative rushing yards (-4) as the Tide had rushing touchdowns (4). Alabama outgained Kevin Sumlin's squad 449-51 in the first half, with 20 more first downs (22 to 2) and 226 more rushing yards (226 to 0).
It didn't matter what the Tide tried to do on offense. Blake Sims threw the ball well and ran it too, while the stable of T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry overpowered the Aggies' front. It didn't matter what Texas A&M tried to do on offense, either -- it appears Nick Saban has figured out that scheme just fine now, and holding the Aggies to two first half first downs is no small achievement.
Alabama had a number of highlight plays in the first half, but the best of them all may have been this long touchdown run from Blake Sims.
Alabama is now just waiting for someone to slip up. That loss to Ole Miss will hurt -- especially as long as the two Mississippi teams stay undefeated -- but the Tide seem poised to jump back into the top four once a place opens. What do you know! One Top 4 team lost earlier Saturday, and Saturday night's Florida State-Notre Dame matchup will likely see another contender fall out of competition. With games against Mississippi State and Auburn remaining on the schedule, the Tide have opportunities to improve their stock (or slip up themselves). Luckily for them, both of those contests will take place at home.
It's also clear Texas A&M's defense is now in "serious problem" territory. We'd seen hints of it throughout the season. The unit showed issues against South Carolina and Arkansas, but the offense was able to score enough for the victory. Against Mississippi State and Ole Miss, Texas A&M gave up a combined 83 points, losing by two touchdowns in each contest. That makes three SEC games in a row that the Aggies have given up at least 35 points, and three straight SEC losses. Texas A&M has a bye week and a home date against Louisiana-Monroe to try and get it back together before a road test to Auburn, but it could be a rough end to the season.
Six brutal stats
3. Texas A&M's 31 rushing yards were their fewest since 2009, when they ran for -13 against Kansas State.
4. The Aggies had 172 total yards on 55 plays. T.J. Yeldon had 159 total yards on 16 touches.
5. This is Texas A&M's worst loss since their 77-0 defeat to Oklahoma in 2003.
6. This is Alabama's biggest shutout win since a 62-0 victory over Tulane in 1991.