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Report card: Grading No. 1-ranked Alabama's stunning loss at Texas A&M

Alabama's Brian Robinson

10/9/21 MFB vs Texas A&M Alabama running back Brian Robinson Jr. (4) Photo by Skylar Lien

The report card Alabama received Saturday isn't one to remember. The Crimson Tide lost for the first time in 2019, and it included too many what-ifs to count easily.

Jimbo Fisher, coach of a mediocre Texas A&M team, was the one to snap the former-Nick-Saban-assistant losing streak. His Aggies rallied with a touchdown and a field goal late to knock off No. 1 Alabama 41-38 in College Station, Texas.

Here are our grades as the Crimson Tide dropped to 5-1:

Offense: B-

Brian Robinson was solid again, but Bryce Young was good but not spectacular. If Alabama hadn't stalled and been forced to settle for two field goals instead of touchdowns late, the Tide could've wrapped up this one before A&M had a chance for a finish to remember.

Defense: D

The Tide has struggled much of the year on this side of the ball, and at times, it looked clueless against A&M, which relied on backup quarterback Zack Calzada. Alabama was stout in the third quarter and the first part of the fourth period, but the late collapse was puzzling.

Special teams: C-

Will Reichard was good again, but the coverage team was abysmal when it allowed the 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. That's one more moment that could've changed the outcome if somebody had made a tackle.

Coaching: C-

Not the finest moment for Nick Saban's staff. Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien called a reasonably good game, but defensive coordinator Pete Golding certainly didn't add any new members to his very small fan club. The Tide fan base doesn't like him much to begin with, and this didn't help.

Overall: D

A stunning loss that happened when Alabama fizzled so badly late. If the Tide wins out, a playoff bid should be waiting, but at the moment, this just doesn't look like a team that's good enough to win out. Up to now, all those issues that made themselves apparent in earlier games didn't look like major problems -- now they do.

Senior Editor Mark Edwards: 256-235-3570. On Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.