Tua Tagovailoa was back at Bryant-Denny Stadium, but he was not playing. He couldn’t even stand. Mac Jones could stand, and run, and pass, and lead.
The Crimson Tide’s new starting quarterback got the second start of his college career and again came out on top. While the competition of Western Carolina was not the most fiercest with the flapping gums on TV calling the matchup a “glorified scrimmage”, the game did count. It was a live game in front of ESPN and big crowd of fans. Calling it a “scrimmage” is not exactly fair.
While it is difficult to judge the ability of Jones in a performance against the FCS Catamounts, it is safe to say he did not make any mistakes. The redshirt sophomore completed 10 of 12 passing attempts for 275 yards and three touchdowns in a half of football plus the first series of the third quarter. He did not throw an interception nor a near interception. WCU had zero pass deflections. Jones did not put the ball on the turf or mishandle a snap or a handoff, and he was not sacked.
Jones’s passes for the most part were on target. He threw long, medium range and short passes with good effectiveness. His first miss was a misjudgement to tight end Major Tennison in the end zone on the opening drive. The second and last incompletion was on the first play of the second series when he just overthrew a streaking Jerry Jeudy who was a step ahead of a defender. After that misfire, he was spot-on the rest of the day.
Jones doesn’t have the talent of Tua but with the same playcalling, the execution was just as successful as it had been in the previous ten games. It is such a luxury to not have to change the offense to suit Mac.
Perhaps most importantly, Jones owned the huddle. Under his leadership Saturday, there were no false starts. We saw no confusion of assignments or where to lineup as you may expect with a new starter.
Of course, Alabama will need some good old fashion chaos to help them find their way into the final four teams, but Jones gives Bama fans hope.
All that said, the real test comes this weekend against the nation’s No. 14 defense of Auburn. For the Tide to have any prayer of making the playoff, the first step will be notching a win in the Iron Bowl.
Is Mac Jones good enough to lead Alabama to a championship?
This poll is closed
I’m not sure yet.
No, he needs some more seasoning.