COLLEGE STATION, Texas (Jamie Burch/KXXV and AP) - Texas A&M won a thriller at Kyle Field, upsetting No. 1 Alabama 41-38.
After Alabama took the lead with 5:00 left in the 4th quarter, the Aggies tied the game at 38 on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Zach Calzada to Ainias Smith. Calzada was hit as he threw the pass and had to be helped off the field.
The A&M defense forced a punt on Alabama’s next drive, giving the Aggies one last shot with 2:08 left in the game.
Calzada returned to orchestrate the winning drive, highlighted by a 17-yard pass to Isaiah Spiller.
Seth Small kicked a 28-yard field goal as the clock expired to end the Crimson Tide’s winning streak at 19 games.
WATCH: Seth Small talks about kicking the game winning field goal
Calzada threw for 285 yards and three touchdowns. Devon Achane returned a kickoff 96 yards for a TD in the third quarter and A&M’s defense got after Alabama quarterback Bryce Young all night.
“This is a great win,” Achane said. “It shows us that we’re capable of doing great things.”
WATCH: Devon Achane's full post game interview
Smith finished with 85 yards receiving and two scores and Jalen Wydermyer had 73 yards receiving and a TD to help the Aggies to what certainly is their biggest win since Fisher took over in 2018.
After Small's game winning field goal, many in the crowd of 106,815 — the second largest ever at Kyle Field - stormed the field.
Bama streaks snapped:
-19-game overall winning streak
-24-game winning streak vs. former Nick Saban assistants
-100-game winning streak vs. unranked opponents
— 247Sports (@247Sports) October 10, 2021
It’s the first time Alabama coach Nick Saban has lost to one of his assistants after entering the game a perfect 24-0 in those games. He’d beaten Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher four times, the most of any of his former staffers before the former Florida State coach finally ended the streak.
“It doesn’t mean anything to me,” Fisher said about ending the former assistants streak. “Our football team is learning to play against other great football teams and have success. That’s what matters to me.”
"We’re going to beat his ass even when he’s there. Don’t worry.” Jimbo Fisher becomes the first former assistant to beat Nick Saban in 25 tries. Quite an effort by the Aggies tonight.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) October 10, 2021
The victory came on Fisher’s 56th birthday and is certainly Texas A&M’s biggest win since Fisher took over in 2018.
“I didn’t know what to get him, so we thought as a team that we should get a win for him,” Small said.
Texas A&M also ended Alabama’s streak of 100 wins over unranked teams, dating to a win over Colorado in the 2007 Independence Bowl to cap Saban’s first season.
Alabama (5-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) hadn’t lost since falling 48-45 to Auburn on Nov. 30, 2019.
“Everyone needs to remember how they feel and not forget it,” said Saban.
The Aggies entered the season ranked sixth and gunning for Alabama after the Crimson Tide handed them their only loss last season. But by last week it looked as if this would be a lost season for the Aggies after consecutive defeats by Arkansas and Mississippi State sent them tumbling out of the Top 25.
But instead of falling into a bigger hole this week, the Aggies pulled off the upset to snap an eight-game skid against Alabama. It’s their first win in the series since Johnny Manziel’s spectacular performance led them to a 29-24 win in 2012 on the road when the Crimson Tide was also ranked first.
“We had a couple of tough weeks ... (but) you’re defined by how you respond to adversity,” Fisher said.
WATCH: Jimbo Fisher's full post game interview
Johnny Football, who won the Heisman Trophy that season, was among the 106,815 fans at Kyle Field on Saturday night to watch the Aggies beat the Crimson Tide at home for the first time ever. A&M’s first win in the series came in a 20-16 win in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 1, 1968.
Manziel was among those celebrating on the field after the game in the wild postgame party.
DOWN GOES BAMA! @ZachCalzada you’re a warrior and an absolutely legend . GIG EM
— Johnny Manziel (@JManziel2) October 10, 2021
Beers on me @ Northgate
— Johnny Manziel (@JManziel2) October 10, 2021
The 17 1/2-point underdogs gained control of this one early, racing out to a 24-10 halftime lead behind two takeaways and a splendid start by Calzada. A&M’s 24 points in the first half were the most Alabama had allowed to an unranked opponent before halftime during Saban’s tenure.
“There were a lot of issues,” Saban said.
Young threw for 369 yards and three touchdowns and Williams had 146 yards receiving. Brian Robinson Jr. added 147 yards rushing.
Alabama cut the lead to seven when DeMarcco Hellams blocked a punt by Nik Constantinou and King
Mwikuta pounced on it in the end zone for a touchdown in the third quarter.
But the Aggies took the blow and responded immediately with one of their own. Achane zig-zagged through two waves of defenders and then displayed the elite speed that lets him double as a sprinter on the track team to simply outrun everyone to make it 31-17 with eight minutes left in the third.
“The hole was so big,” Achane said. “It was like is this for me?”
Young then capped a 75-yard drive with a 29-yard touchdown pass Williams to cut the lead to 31-24. Williams put his finger to his lips to shush the crowd after the score.
Alabama is certainly to fall a few spots in the poll after the loss and getting a win over the defending champs should be enough to get the Aggies back in the Top 25.
Alabama: At Mississippi State on Saturday night.
Texas A&M: At Missouri on Saturday.
Did…did Jimbo just do the Ted Lasso dance? pic.twitter.com/VFnYfwYoOo
— Robert Behrens (@rcb05) October 10, 2021