Campus Life

The Best Reactions To Texas A&M’s Win Over No. 1 Alabama

See how social media reacted to the Aggies' 41-38 victory and Seth Small's game-winning field goal.
By Jacob Svetz, Texas A&M University Division of Marketing & Communications October 11, 2021

crowd of fans surround a football player in a texas a&m jersey
The Texas A&M Aggies took on the Alabama Crimson tide Saturday, Oct. 9 at Kyle Field in one of the most anticipated games of the season.

Texas A&M Division of Marketing & Communications


The Texas A&M Aggies took on the Alabama Crimson tide Saturday, Oct. 9 at Kyle Field in one of the most anticipated games of the season.Texas A&M Division of Marketing & Communications

The Aggies shocked the world of college football (and maybe even beyond) by knocking off the defending national champions and No. 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide in front of a sold-out crowd at Kyle Field.

Let’s first talk about broken records: Alabama had won 100 straight games against unranked opponents, and Crimson Tide Head Coach Nick Saban had never lost to a former assistant.

On social media, “Texas A&M,” “College Station” and the names of several players were trending well into Monday morning.

Back up to last week.

The explosion of emotion that followed Seth Small’s 28 yard game-winning field goal as time expired had been building over a week. Two heartbreaking losses to Arkansas and Mississippi State did nothing to deter students from lining up to pull tickets for the Alabama game, with some students arriving almost 48 hours before the booths opened.

Several football players went out to meet their fellow Texas A&M students who camped out for tickets, bringing them donuts to express their appreciation for the 12th Man.

It’s not necessary for Texas A&M to have a homecoming weekend because Aggieland is home for every Aggie, regardless of class year. However, in many senses the Aggie Family came home for this highly anticipated game. Heisman trophy winner and the last starting quarterback to lead the Aggies to a win versus Alabama, Johnny Manziel ’15, announced he was headed to College Station on Wednesday.

ESPN commentator Fernando Palomo ’95 shared he was in town with his 1.1 million Twitter followers on Friday.

After a day of tailgating, more than 106,000 fans filled up Kyle Field. The energy was enough to literally shake the stadium, as noted by this Alabama reporter Michael Casagrande.

Aggie Men’s Basketball legend and reigning NBA champion Khris Middleton ‘13, and several of his Milwaukee Bucks teammates were in attendance, along with the Larry O’Brien trophy.

Middleton was also honored for his role on Team USA’s Gold Medal-winning Men’s Basketball team. Team USA track athletes Athing Mu ’24 and Bryce Deadmon ’19 were honored for their medal-winning performances in Tokyo this summer.

In total, 106,815 fans attended the game, the second largest crowd in Kyle Field history.

The 12th Man was loud all night long, contributing to several communication issues for the Crimson Tide. Johnny Manziel, who has played on some of the biggest stages in college football, was impressed.


Following a fourth quarter touchdown where he took a brutal hit, Zach Calzada ’23 returned to the field to the crowd chanting his name. The noise was so deafening, the Yell Leaders had to signal to the 12th Man to quiet down so the offense could communicate.

Away from Kyle Field in northern Illinois, Effrage Davis ’20 had a hard time delivering her weather forecast with Texas A&M tied with Alabama late in the fourth quarter. She ended up forecasting the end of the game saying, “We just need to eat the time, get into field goal range, kick a field goal and then we win.”

Meteorologist Avery Tomasco ’15 concluded his weather forecast for the Austin area by noting there was a small disturbance over College Station, in the form of Alabama tears.

Alabama fans weren’t the only ones with tears in their eyes. Seth Small’s wife, Rachel ’22, watched the kick go through the upright, took a moment to console herself, and then rushed the field to celebrate with her husband. This viral moment was captured by Cameron Worthy ’22 as a part of 12th Man Productions’ coverage of the game.

More than 35,000 or so students and other fans quickly joined Rachel, Seth and the rest of the victorious Aggie football team. The ramps and concourses of the stadium were full of students leaving the upper decks to join the party on the field.

Zach Calzada and several other Aggie football players were carried off the field as “If You’re Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band)” rang through the Kyle Field field speakers. Fans who didn’t rush the field stayed in their seats, soaking in what could be a once-in-a-lifetime moment.

Wide receiver Ryan Campbell ’23 and Adam M. Biancheri ’25, a member of the Corps of Cadets, swapped uniforms at mid-field.

Former Aggie athletes who have gone on to play at the professional levels of their respective sports also poured on the praise for Small, Calzada the 12th Man, and the game itself.

Aggie fans experienced the whole spectrum of emotions on Saturday, and now some are using the improbable victory as motivation to achieve their own goals.


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