Three takeaways from No. 1 Alabama's win over No. 24 Texas A&M

Sporting News

Alabama improved to 6-0 Saturday after topping Texas A&M (3-3) 47-28 at Kyle Field, solidifying its placement at the top of the college football rankings.

Although the Crimson Tide only led by seven after the first quarter, they continued to build on their lead as the contest progressed, scoring in various ways.

It'll certainly be difficult to take down No. 1 Alabama this year, especially when it has so many ways to win.

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Here are three takeaways from the Crimson Tide's win:

Alabama's special teams can make a difference

The Crimson Tide have had one of the most dynamic offenses in college football over the last two years, and it's even easier for them when they have a short field to work with. Their special teams reduced the workload of their offense Saturday, and it made a huge difference in the end result.

Alabama's kick and punt returning were on another level against Texas A&M. They averaged a staggering 31.2 yards on kickoff returns and 30.4 yards on punt returns. Henry Ruggs totaled 134 kickoff return yards while sophomore return specialist Jaylen Waddle accumulated 128. Waddle also notched three receptions for 48 yards and a score.

But it doesn't end here for the Crimson Tide, as they also blocked a punt in the fourth quarter, which they scooped up and returned for a score. Who can stop Alabama if its special teams can perform like this? The answer: probably no one.

The Crimson Tide have continued to rack up penalties

Alabama may have beaten Texas A&M handily, but penalties allowed the Aggies to stay in the hunt early on. The Crimson Tide were flagged 11 times for a total of 91 yards, allowing the Aggies to extend drives several times in the contest. Wideout DeVonta Smith was even ejected in the fourth quarter for throwing a punch. This is already the third time this season Alabama has totaled at least 10 penalties in a game. No team in the Nick Saban era has reached this mark so many times in one year, and it's still early.

Tougher competition is on the way, as Alabama still has No. 5 LSU and No. 12 Auburn on its docket. The Crimson Tide will have to avoid costly violations moving forward.

Kellen Mond was under serious pressure

Much has been made of Alabama's stagnant pass rush this year, but it responded to speculation against Texas A&M. The Crimson Tide entered Saturday with 10 sacks this season but totaled five against Mond and forced him to scramble quite a bit.

MORE: Bryce Hall injury update: Virginia cornerback (ankle) carted off field against Miami | Three takeaways from No. 6 Oklahoma's win over No. 11 Texas in Red River Showdown

Mond was an effective runner when he did take off though, rushing for 90 yards and a score while also throwing two touchdown passes. However, he was uncomfortable throughout the game and was rarely able to set his feet.

The resurgence of Alabama's defensive line will only make its team more complete. But consistency is key.

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