TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- A worn-out Damontre Moore stood at the podium and thought back to the defense's final goal-line stand that saved one of Texas A&M's biggest wins in school history.
As the 11 Aggies in all white took their stance with more than 100,000 fans going bonkers, the top-ranked Crimson Tide merely 6 yards away from capping a thrilling comeback, all he could think of was what former defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter taught him.
"FIDO," he said. "Forget it, drive on."
Only minutes prior, A&M looked to have clinched an upset over Alabama as Deshazor Everett jumped an AJ McCarron pass and had an apparent interception. However, his heel hit out of bounds, and the Crimson Tide's drive continued. A few plays later, McCarron found Amari Cooper streaking down the sideline for a 54-yard touchdown that made it a one-possession game and got the crowd thinking comeback,
Following a three-and-out by the A&M offense, the Heisman hopeful McCarron took over -- a week removed from a game-winning drive to beat LSU. On the first play, a mix-up in the secondary left Kenny Bell open downfield. McCarron found him for a 54-yard gain and the Crimson Tide were knocking on the door, 6 yards away from continuing another dream season.
Conversely, the Aggies were in a familiar situation, 6 yards away from blowing a double-digit lead -- which would have been eerily similar to 2011. But Jonathan Stewart said that wasn't going through anybody's mind.
"Nobody on the defense had flashbacks," he said. "You could look at the guys and everybody wanted to make a play."
On the first play, it was Kirby Ennis and Sean Porter getting pressure on McCarron and tackling him for no gain. On the second, Ennis maintained his gap and made a big tackle as the Tide ran wide with Eddie Lacy. Next up, Moore pressured McCarron, who scrambled around and had the end zone in his sights. But he was stopped 2 yards short by Dustin Harris, setting up fourth down for all the marbles.
Moore said the thinking was simple.
"Go out here and make a play to cancel [everything] out,"
The Crimson Tide lined up and sent Bell in motion to the right. McCarron took the snap, rolled right and looked for Bell, who was running a quick out. Everett -- who earlier was inches away from sealing the game -- read it from the start. He jumped the route, picked off the pass and incited a riot on the A&M sideline.
After 59 minutes, the game came down to 6 yards and four plays. And for a change, it was the Aggies who drove on -- to an upset win over the top-ranked team in the land.
"That was remarkable," Stewart said.