Here are three quick takes from No. 24 Texas A&M’s 47-28 loss to No. 1 Alabama on Saturday in front of a record crowd of 106,749 at Kyle Field:
• Mann will be sore: Texas A&M punter and kickoff specialist Braden Mann has said he always wanted to be a linebacker. Thanks to an outstanding day by Alabama returners Jaylen Waddle and Henry Ruggs III, Mann got called into action more than once, recording two tackles stopping Waddle and Ruggs. Waddle averaged 32 yards per punt return, while Ruggs picked up 33 yards per kickoff return with a long of 40. To add insult to injury, Alabama blocked a Mann punt, the first of his career, and recovered it for a special teams score in the fourth quarter. Not a great day for a typically solid A&M special teams unit.
• Red zone Richardson: A&M safety Demani Richardson, who has had a fairly quiet beginning to the season, took the spotlight Saturday with two key red zone plays. The freshman caught Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s first interception of the season late in the second quarter in the end zone. More impressively, Richardson pelted wideout Waddle early in the third quarter, causing a third-down incompletion that forced an Alabama field goal. While he’s produced few big-time plays, Richardson showed Saturday why he’s seen the majority of playing time among A&M’s safeties this year.
• Davis steps up: Saturday was a good day for A&M’s wide receiving corps, which combined for 264 receiving yards. Quartney Davis led the group. His two impressive catches on the Aggies’ first drive of the game, including an acrobatic sideline effort, helped the Aggies score a game-opening touchdown for the first time this season. Davis finished with 81 yards on seven catches, his only blemish a third-quarter drop.