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Jumbo Package: Mac Jones, John Metchie light up Texas A&M

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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: Texas A&M at Alabama The Tuscaloosa News-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, everyone. Michael Casagrande has your Texas A&M recap.

The 450 total yards allowed didn’t sit well with Alabama’s defense, but context is important. After tying the game on a one-play, 17-yard field, Texas A&M had three more drives in the first half that netted 7, 10 and 40 yards respectively. The second one was the INT returned for a touchdown by Wright. A&M had four decent drives in the second half after Alabama took a 35-14 lead. The Aggie drives after halftime when the visitors out-gained Alabama 232-230.

12 plays, 40 yards, FG

12 plays, 52 yards, turnover on downs at Alabama 23

7 plays, 75 yards, TD

8 plays, 60 yards, INT

The secondary that returned exactly one starter had some predictable growing pains this week. The good news is that the issues were mental and fixable. Daniel Wright in particular seemed to have 3-4 mental errors, and DeMarco Hellams seemed to replace him at one point. We will keep an eye on that moving forward. Saban mentioned that he wasn’t terribly pleased with secondary depth in the preseason.

John Metchie III was a breakout star this week, but everybody is talking about Mac Jones.

“With all due respect, I don’t want to see Mac Jones playing for a national championship,” the recording of Smith said.

“But he’s no Tua,” Smith said later. “Mac Jones?”

Fresh off a 435-yard, four-touchdown afternoon in Alabama’s 52-24 win over Texas A&M, Jones was asked about that video.

Did it motivate him?

“Yeah, a little bit,” Jones said. “Everyone wants to talk and say Alabama’s not back and I think we’ve proved the first two games we’re improving and we just have to continue to do that.”

Alabama QB Mac Jones is legit

He was legit last year taking over for the injured Tua Tagovailoa and he sure looks legit through two games. Jones threw for 435 yards, four touchdowns and a pick in No. 2 Alabama’s 52-24 blowout of No. 13 Texas A&M. Granted, Jones has incredible talent to throw to, including a shiny new toy in John Metchie III. Could you or I make those deep, wide open throws? Maybe with a little bit of a running start while throwing out my shoulder, yes, but the fact remains Bama’s standout wide receivers need someone to get them the ball. They have that. Jones did well with the deep ball late last season and he’s been able to stretch the field so far. The Bryce Young offseason chatter was fun, but Jones is a cemented QB1, capable of leading this team to a national championship.

A few nuggets for you:

Through two games, both SEC contests, Mac’s 222 passer rating leads the nation and would obliterate the record set by Joe Burrow last year, without the benefit of G5 opponents. In his career, Tua Tagovailoa had exactly one SEC game with a higher passer rating than the 250.9 number Mac put up against the Aggies. To be sure, he has benefited from defenses stacking the box and daring him to prove it. Will that strategy continue now that he has?

While Alabama cannot afford to get caught looking past Ole Miss, the clash with Georgia is already carrying some additional hype.

Per FPI, Georgia’s chance of likely reaching the CFP has increased from 25% to 45% over the past two weeks, benefiting from the Big 12’s semi-implosion and its own prowess. Despite a slow start against Arkansas in Week 4, the Dawgs have dominated over their past six quarters, first pulling away from the Hogs and then demolishing Auburn this past Saturday. They have gained ground on college football’s top three teams in both FPI and SP+. Although making the CFP would likely require them to split two games against Alabama (Oct. 17’s battle in Tuscaloosa, then a theoretical SEC championship game tussle in December), their odds of doing so are decent.

It’s still so early. We don’t know who is or isn’t any good right now. Auburn’s lines have been pushed around twice now, first by Kentucky and then badly by Georgia. The Tide will be able to match them in the trenches, and it’s tough to believe that Stetson Bennett will be able to hang with a humming Alabama passing game, but we will soon see.

Last, the Big 12 is hot garbage.

Oklahoma dropped out of The Associated Press college football poll for the first time since September 2016 and No. 24 Iowa State jumped back into the Top 25 after a day of upsets.

There largely was stability at the top of the rankings Sunday after No. 1 Clemson, No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 Georgia and No. 4 Florida all won big, though the Bulldogs and Gators switched spots. Clemson received 52 first-place votes and Alabama got eight from the panel of sports writers and broadcasters.

Oklahoma has two losses to teams that lost openers to G5 opponents. Texas beat Texas Tech in OT and thus could very easily be 0-2 themselves. Oklahoma State is probably the only chance for a bid this year.

That’s about it for today. Have a great week.

Roll Tide.