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The Alabama-Texas A&M Running Diary: Part II

CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY’S FIRST HALF DIARY

5:42 – We have a second half kickoff!  Texas A&M has some work to do.

5:45 – Alabama just went three-and-out after McCarron overthrew a wide open receiver over the middle.  I’m torn on how I feel about McCarron as a pro prospect.  On one hand, he’s lost only twice over his career and has two BCS championship rings.  On the other, well, that was a bad throw he just made.  I feel the exact same way about McCarron as I did Greg McElroy, even though I know McCarron has more physical tools.

5:47 – Huge play!  Manziel forces a pass along the right seam that is deflected up by Alabama’s Jared Williams and run back for a 73-yard touchdown by Vinnie Sunseri.  It’s now 35-14.  Perhaps most notable was Manziel’s errant attempt at a user big hit on the play.  Everyone’s making the obvious “Mack Brown recruited him as a safety!” joke right here.  Truthfully, after seeing that BYU debacle, Manziel might still be the best tackler on the Longhorn defense.

5:52 – Bovada’s live betting application is listing Alabama as a 23.5 point favorite.  Does that seem high to anyone else?  Texas A&M isn’t going to win this game, but I’m not ready to give up on the Aggies covering the 8-point spread that we saw at kickoff.

5:57 – Gotta love CBS going back to the well and showing more Manziel headlines on television.  Can’t we all just get past this?  Manziel partying in Cabo has little to do with A&M’s 21 point deficit.  Also, you can tell this is Danielson’s first broadcast of the year because his voice is getting progressively raspier.  He’s going to sound like Joan Rivers by the end of this.

6:00 – Dumb question: How are we still setting attendance records in 2013?  I understand that some programs like A&M haven’t necessarily been this relevant in a long time, but I don’t understand how it happens elsewhere.  When I was at Penn State, I was present for no less than three or four games in which an attendance record was set.  If they’re not building a new stadium or revising fire codes, how is this even possible?

6:03 – It’s like Johnny Football was just notified that Bovada had his team as a 23.5-point underdog.  After summoning his magic and hitting Malcome Kennedy for a 14-yard touchdown, it’s pretty apparent that this game isn’t over just yet.  Lundquist says “that ends the gusher,” and I’m fighting the urge to link to the podcast we did with Lex Steele.  Let’s just say the score is 35-21 and move on.

6:07 – OH MY GOD, JOHNNY MANZIEL DID THE MONEY THING AGAIN!  Heavens to Betsy!  Surprisingly, nobody is all that upset.  You’ve gotta be kidding me.  Danielson ws ready to call the cops on Yeldon after the throat slash thing.  I fully expected him to erupt like Suzyn Waldman that one time Roger Clemens announced a comeback.

6:08 – Wait, McCarron has two half-sleeve tattoos to go with the one already on his chest?  When did this happen?  Is this supposed to negate his sobfest from last November’s win over LSU?  Or is this his way of proving to Katherine Webb that he’s got a bad boy edge to him?

6:15 – Another touchdown for Alabama.  Ho hum.  This time a touchdown up the middle by Kenyan Drake.  Score is 42-21.

6:20 – A&M just went a quick three-and-out and this game is unofficially over as the third quarter is about to expire.  Saban is totally trying to hang 50 on the Aggies, but he’ll do it so unassumingly–probably by running every play or throwing a lot of short passes–that nobody will make much of it.  Meanwhile, the fourth quarter is about to expire

6:32 – One of Manziel’s least-talked-about skilled is his ability to pump fake with a full throwing motion.  The only way this is physically possible is if you have hands the size of oven mitts.  Suffice to say, it works nearly every time, because defenders are just as blown away.

6:33 – Wellllp… Manziel hits Kennedy for another touchdown to make it 42-28.  That was too easy and had a borderline “garbage time” feel to it.  Nick Saban is going to pistol whip this defense if it goes into shutdown mode.

6:40 – Texas A&M simply has no answer for Alabama’s rushing attack.  The Aggies will need a stop here if they want any chance, and a 15-yard personal foul for illegal participation doesn’t help.

6:44 – As expected, Texas A&M offers minimal resistance as the Crimson Tide marches easily into Aggie territory.  But get this… Jalston Fowler is stood up at the goal line and fumbles, turning the ball over and giving Manziel another crack at it.  If Fowler turns up in a drained pool somewhere, Nick Saban wants you to know that he probably had nothing to do with it.

6:49 – WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?  In a wild turn of events, Manziel hits Mike Evans on third and long for a 95-yard touchdown pass to pull within seven points.  In related news, Mike Evans, a redshirt sophomore, just submitted his NFL Draft paperwork 247 times.  This is possibly the greatest game by a wide receiver in A&M history, and potentially an amazing Backdoor Cover.

6:58 – This is what makes Alabama so great.  After that score, it’s apparent that Saban is in Take-All-The-Air-Out-Of-The-Ball mode… until he calls a play-action pass to freshman tight end O.J. Howard for a clutch first down.  That one was the dagger.  The Tide is now in field goal range, and if A&M’s defense keeps doing what it’s doing, it’ll be 49-35 before long.

7:04 – Annnnd, there it is.  Alabama puts icing on the cake with a play-action pass on third and goal from McCarron to Fowler.  At 49-35 with 2:28 remaining, you can stick a fork in this one.

7:10 – With 1:15 on the clock, A&M’s efforts on offense are a mere formality.  If you’d told me that there would be over 1,000 total yards and more than 80 points in this game, I would’ve thought you were crazy.  Meanwhile, there is a serious Backdoor Cover Alert going on here, as someone forgot to tell Manziel that the game was over.

7:13 – Good God… another lob pass to Mike Evans, who now has 279 receiving yards, followed by another quick touchdown to Kennedy.  The score is 49-42, and unless Saban decides to pursue a giant Eff You touchdown, the gambling gods will again feast on the blood of those who took an SEC favorite on the road.

7:17 – Texas A&M’s last gasp, an onside kick, finds its way into the hands of Alabama’s Amari Cooper.  It’s a nice way for Cooper to close out the day, seeing as how he barely caught anything else.

7:20 – We’ve got a final score in College Station: 49-42 Alabama.

Ty Hildenbrandt co-hosts The Solid Verbal college football podcast. Follow him on Twitter.