Texas A&M had just missed a field goal. Then AJ McCarron threw a 50 yard pass to Amari Cooper. The score was 23-17, and every Aggie in the stadium was thinking the same thing. “Here we go again.”
Did Johnny Manziel have a Heisman moment tonight?
But then, things that don't happen to Texas A&M started to happen. Safeties Howard Matthews and Steven Terrell combined on a tackle to force a fumble from Alabama's TJ Yeldon, the hero of the week before, and the ball bounced to the unlikeliest of heroes, senior corner Dustin Harris. Then Johnny Manziel hit Ryan Swope for 42 yards up the sideline for a huge gain.
Alabama fans, who bounced back from their Crimson Tide getting torched in the first quarter to make the stadium as loud as any venue this writer has ever experienced, went silent. The only sound you could hear was the A&M fans in the second deck chanting “Joh-nny, Joh-nny,” and you had to wonder, was this Manziel's Heisman moment? Perhaps it was, but it wasn't the last moment for A&M.
The full story of the game though, was yet to be written. AJ McCarron absolutely shredded the A&M defense on the next drive. Completing six passes and taking the Tide 94 yards in just over two minutes to bring the game back to within one score. The Aggies then played it safe and had to punt just three plays later.
It took McCarron all of one play to get the Crimson tide into a goal-to-go situation at the A&M six, and then you had to wonder, was this A.J. McCarron's moment? After leading an incredible drive to defeat LSU last week in Death Valley, was he going to do it again?
But this moment didn't belong to McCarron. This moment belonged to Dustin Harris and Sean Porter, who tackled McCarron in the next few plays. This moment belonged to Kirby Ennis, a member of A&M's much maligned defensive line, who tackled Eddie Lacy for a one yard gain on second down. This moment belonged to Deshazor Everett, who picked McCarron off in the endzone on fourth down.
This moment didn't belong to Alabama, it belonged to Texas A&M.
The final moment was still to come however. A&M was set to punt the ball away with 40 seconds to go when Alabama was called for a neutral zone infraction that ended the game.
Perhaps that was a fitting end to this game. It was a clincher on the unlikeliest of plays, on a night filled with a number of the unlikeliest heroes, for a road win in the unlikeliest of venues.
That's what this year's A&M team is though, unlikely. They weren't supposed to be ready to compete in the SEC. They weren't supposed to be able to win with a freshman quarterback (an unlikely starter back in the summer.) They weren't supposed to win with a first year coach.
But, they are.