Josh Jobe got his baptism by fire on the biggest stage. As a true freshman, he was inserted into the line-up in the national championship after starting corner Saivion Smith went down with an injury. Jobe was by no means perfect; but he acquitted himself well, considering the situation, and made two tackles to go along with a pass break-up.
With Smith’s departure to the NFL and versatile defensive back Shyheim Carter limited after surgery, Jobe spent the spring with the first team. At A-Day, he operated as the right cornerback in nickel and dime packages; and he had an excellent outing.
2nd and 10: Jobe (#28) is the right cornerback at the bottom of the screen, playing about 7 yards off the line. He takes one step back on the snap before changing gears when he sees it’s a handoff. Jobe quickly comes down and forces Najee Harris (#22) to keep moving laterally instead of cutting upfield. Harris is a load to take down, but that doesn’t stop Jobe. He hits him up high and, with a bit of help from Moses, who did a good job of avoiding traffic, makes the tackle after a minimal gain.
3rd and 4: Jobe is in press coverage on DeVonta Smith (#6) at the bottom. Smith runs a little hitch route right at the sticks, and there’s a little bit of separation. The yard or two would possibly be enough for Smith to catch it and pick up the first had the throw been on the money, but it’s high. Smith jumps to snag it, giving Jobe more time to close; and he smashes into Smith right after it’s caught. Jobe knocks him back several yards before finishing up the tackle with a suplex, which unfortunately draws a flag and gives the Crimson offense a first down.
3rd and 3: It’s third and short, and the offense goes after Jobe again. He’s at the top of the screen, playing off on Jerry Jeudy (#4). It’s another quick hitch at line to gain. Jobe hesitates slightly once he sees the pass is going to Jeudy, and he wastes a step. Still, once he changes directions; he closes quickly and delivers a jarring hit on Jeudy, showing the physicality we saw in the previous two plays. Jeudy had already started to drop the pass before Jobe got there, but Jobe at least made it so that it would’ve been difficult for Jeudy to hang on had he caught it.
2nd and 10: Thank goodness we have Laura Rutledge’s interview taking up almost a third of the screen. Anyway. Jobe’s playing off on DeVonta Smith. Smith runs a five yard in route, so Jobe has a lot of ground to make up. Tua Tagovailoa has pressure in his face and throws it off the mark, ahead of Smith. This puts it right in Jobe’s hands (and he does get both of them on the ball), but he doesn’t hang on.
3rd and 10: It’s the next play. Jobe’s still at the bottom, in off coverage opposite Smith. Smith (the #1 receiver, counting outside in) runs an in route while Jeudy (the #2 receiver), the slot receiver, goes vertical; so Jobe takes Jeudy while Patrick Surtain (#2), the star, takes Smith. Tagovailoa gets flushed from the pockets and rolls to his left before uncorking a nice pass to Jeudy along the side of the endzone. Jobe is right there, however, to bat the ball away for an incompletion. Unfortunately, ESPN opts to go full screen on Rutledge and Saban; and we never get a replay. So I can’t break everything down here; but we still can see the end result, which is that Jobe stayed on Jeudy enough to be in position to make the play in the end.
3rd and 8: Jobe’s in press coverage on Smith. On the snap, he lunges forward and gives Smith a little punch to throw him off. Jobe then runs stride for stride with Smith and has him smothered.
3rd and 3: Jobe’s on Smith once more, at the top of the screen now. Smith runs a slant route, and Jobe lets him get a clean release. Tagovailoa places the ball perfectly out in front of Smith and away from Jobe, and it’s a first down. Jobe isn’t in bad coverage here; it’s just a well-time route and well-thrown ball.
1st and 10: Jobe is one-on-one against Jeudy, in off coverage. Jeudy runs a sluggo (slant and go). Jobe shuffles a few steps and then takes one step forward, committing to the slant, before he realizes where Jeudy is really going. He adjusts easily. Jobe engages in some hand-fighting with Jeudy, and he blocks Jeudy from getting deep enough. The ball was a tad overthrown as well, though the heavy pressure is partially to blame as well.