Tua Tagovailoa was close to perfect. Jalen Hurts kept getting better. Even Mac Jones put his name in the record book.
All three Alabama quarterbacks played in the Crimson Tide’s 56-14 win over Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday. Tagovailoa was 8 of 8 passing for 128 yards and two touchdowns. He played four drives, all of which ended in touchdowns.
“The kid’s electric,” running back Josh Jacobs said. “I feel like the whole offense, every position is kind of electric. You feed off of that, just seeing people make plays, seeing people do stuff you normally wouldn’t think would happen. It just gets everybody fired up.”
Hurts was 4 of 6 for 118 yards and a score. His first drive showed a step forward as he delivered a 24-yard pass on third and long to freshman receiver Jaylen Waddle. On the next play, he stood in the pocket and went down the middle to Henry Ruggs III, who ran off with a 54-yard touchdown pass.
“He did make some really good throws,” coach Nick Saban said. “He stuck in the pocket, he read the coverages and made some really good plays. I think that’s one of the things that he realized, because of our offense and the job that Mike (Locksley, offensive coordinator) is doing, having Dan Enos as a quarterback coach can really continue to help his development for the future.”
He played three possessions which included two touchdowns and a missed field goal.
Hurts has now played in all five games this season, eliminating the possibility for a redshirt. He’ll have one year of eligibility remaining whether he chooses to play at Alabama or transfer at the end of the season.
“Jalen, obviously, handled this extremely well relative to being a great team player, team leader, respecting his teammates and sticking with the program here and playing very well, taking advantage of when he does have an opportunity to play, to play well and try to create value for himself,” Saban said. “Which, I think, would be the message that I would send to all players out there that are trying to take advantage of this new (redshirt) rule.”
That’s what his teammates have seen from him all season. He continued to practice and prepare this week as players at some other schools pondered their futures after the season’s first four games.
“He’s a competitor,” Ruggs said. “He’s a great guy, comes and works every day and never complains about nothing. He works to get better and it shows.”
Jones finished the game out and had a 94-yard touchdown pass to Waddle for good measure. That was tied for the second-longest touchdown pass in school history. He had only one other attempt on the day, a pass dropped by wide receiver Derek Kief in the fourth quarter. Alabama’s offense spent most of the fourth quarter handing the ball off.
Reach Ben Jones at email@example.com or 205-722-0196.