This right here is why we love college football. It’s because there are game heroes like Seth Small, the Texas A&M kicker whose field goal knocked off top-ranked Alabama.
Small’s kick set off a mass celebration at Kyle Field, where more than 106,000 fans, most of whom were Aggies, slapped high fives and sawed Varsity’s horns off. Then the student section, which had been rowdy and rollicking all night, charged onto the field to continue the party.
Then there was Small’s family. Cam Worthy, a photographer for 12th Man Productions, posted a video of the Smalls in the seconds before the Aggie made good on a 28-yard field goal. The kick broke a 38-38 tie with one second to go.
Worthy posted on Twitter: “Seth Small’s family watching him nail the game winning field goal vs Alabama. One of my favorite shots of the night.”
You’ll notice that Small’s wife, who kept yelling “you got this, babe,” fell to her knees. Then she quickly jumped over the railing and headed to the field with the rest of the students.
Small scored the first and final points of the game for Texas A&M. The Aggies haven’t beaten Alabama since 2012. That’s when Johnny Manziel had his Heisman Trophy moment in Tuscaloosa as the quarterback helped lead the upset. That was the first SEC season for Texas A&M. The Aggies hadn’t come close to beating the Tide since then. That all changed Saturday night.
As a reporter observed, this was the second time that Small kicked a game-winner on the birthday of Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher.
“We’re trying to get him a good happy birthday present,” the Texas A&M kicker said. “I didn’t know what to get him, so we thought as a team that we’d like to get him a win over Alabama. And it was probably the third best moment of my life right after I accepted Jesus into my heart as my true Lord and Savior, and then after getting married to my wife this summer. I rank this three.”
As for Fisher, he became the first former assistant coach of Bama’s Nick Saban to beat his mentor. Saban now is 24-1 against his former assistants turned head coaches. And he picked up the victory on his 56th birthday. Coincidentally, Saban is the highest-paid college football coach in the country. Texas A&M made Fisher No. 2 before the season started last month.
But Fisher pulled off the improbable win with a second-string quarterback and a struggling offense. The Aggies lost their last two games before Saturday’s stunner in College Station.
Fisher said being the first to beat Saban wasn’t what he was thinking about Saturday night. Rather, it was his team. Plus, the atmosphere at Kyle Field was a perfect recruiting moment to sell the Texas A&M program.
“It doesn’t mean anything to me, and I don’t mean that in any disrespect, because he’s one heck of a coach,” Fisher said. “I’ve known Nick for years and consider him a great friend and have coached with him and he has great teams. The thing that means something to me is that our football team is learning to play against other good football teams and have success.”