The most controversial rules change in recent years came very close to being even more controversial…
Eight Tide Players Earn Coach Honors
In addition to his SEC honor, A.J. McCarron also was one of eight Alabama football players recognized by the Crimson Tide coaching staff for outstanding performances in Saturday's win over Texas A&M in College Station. Bama, ranked first in the nation with a 2-0 record, took a 49-42 win over the Aggies, who had been sixth in the nation before falling to the Tide.
Also recognized were left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio and tight end Brian Vogler on offense; linebacker C.J. Mosley and lineman Jeoffrey Pagan on defense; and placekicker Cade Foster, return specialist and coverage man Christion Jones, and punter Cody Mandell on special teams.
McCarron completed 20-of-29 passes for a career-high 334 yards with four touchdown passes, which tied a career-best. He was not sacked and did not throw an interception. The senior is now second in the Alabama record books with 6,400 career passing yards. McCarron is now 27-2 as a starter, including a 15-0 mark away from Tuscaloosa. Kouandjio anchored an offensive line that helped the Crimson Tide pile up 568 yards of total offense, 234 of which came on the ground. Kouandjio received the top grade on the line and did not allow a sack or a pressure, or have any missed assignments. Vogler had three receptions for 24 yards and also played a big role as a blocker from his tight end position.
Mosley led the team with 12 total tackles and had the highest total production points on defense. He was also credited with a quarterback hurry and one big hit. Pagan was second in production points and finished with four tackles and a quarterback hurry, although the play he is best remembered for was unsuccessful. Pagan made a great rush on Manziel and seemed to almost have him for a big third down loss, but the magical Manziel escaped Pagan's grasp and threw a pass downfield that was caught for a first down.
Foster was perfect on all seven of his extra point attempts and two of his eight kickoffs resulted in touchbacks. (There were no field goal tries in the game; in fact, Bama has not had a field goal try this year.) Jones returned one punt for five yards and four kickoffs for 83 yards. He also had three tackles on kickoff coverage. Mandell continued his strong season with an average of 53 yards on just three punts.