It’s not often a game manager manages their way to 435 passing yards. But seriously, Mac Jones looks to have shed that label after his performance against Texas A&M. It was the fourth-most passing yards in a single game in school history. He also leads the country in passer rating and is tied for the most yards per attempt.
Not bad for a guy who some thought would be a footnote behind Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa.
3rd and 8: Alabama has trips right. Metchie (#8) is the farthest out, then DeVonta Smith (#6), then Jaylen Waddle (#17). Smith runs a deep out, roughly 13 yards past the line of scrimmage; and Waddle runs an out-breaking route at the sticks. That draws in the safety on that side of the field, leaving Metchie one-on-one with the cornerback. And that’s all Jones needs. Metchie blows past the corner, who let him have a clean release. And Metchie has enough speed to win the race to the endzone.
1st and 5: Bama has trips left this time. TE Miller Forristall (#87) is flexed out, and Waddle is to his left (I can’t quite tell who the other receiver is, and it looks like Xavier Williams is the receiver on the right side). The #1 receiver (the guy farthest from the line) carries one corner down the field and towards the middle. Waddle steps back and looks for the quick screen; and Jones pumps once, which draws in one defensive back and freezes another. Forristall, meanwhile, wheels out and gets a little separation from the defensive back. Jones resets and lofts one, placing it where only Forristall can get to it. And he goes up and gets to it for a pretty first down.
1st and goal: Bama has a bunch in tight on the left. This playaction is solely for DeVonta Smith. Waddle and Forristall both block. Smith slowplays it for a beat before shooting past the defensive back and heading to the corner along the back of the endzone. Jones drops back after the fake and throws a beauty high-up. As Brent noted in his initial impressions, Jones has no fear of throwing tough passes with defender’s back to him, trusting his receivers to make the plays. That’s exactly what Smith does, leaping up and getting a foot down in an acrobatic display.
2nd and 22: Alabama’s offense is struggling a bit. They had a three and out to start the half, and this drive has seen back-to-back penalties. No worries. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian dials up a deep pass. Waddle and Smith are on the left. Smith runs a little hitch, but Waddle runs an in and up. Jones hits his drop and steps up and pump fakes as Waddle is breaking in. That pump, combined with Waddle selling the route, draws the safety down; so there’s nothing but open field ahead of Waddle when he turns it up. Jones hits him in stride, and Waddle can’t be caught.