BamaHammer Player of the Week: AJ McCarron

The knock on AJ McCarron is that he is merely a game manager in Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban’s system. After winning a shootout with defending Heisman winner Johnny Manziel, the senior quarterback is anything but, and is BamaHammer’s Player of the Week.

Everyone that knows anything about college football knew that Alabama would come out trying to run the ball and slow down Texas A&M’s lightning offense. But almost immediately, the Aggies were up 14-0 and that strategy went out the window. Alabama fans saw visions of last season’s 21-0 A&M lead as Alabama’s offense took the field.

Instead, McCarron led the Tide on a six-play, 75-yard drive culminating in a perfect 22-yard strike to Kevin Norwood for the score.

That drive led a furious comeback by Alabama, who jumped out to a 35-14 lead before holding off a late surge by the Aggies. After gaining the big lead, Alabama was indeed able to control the ball and the clock with their ground game.

McCarron certainly managed the offense efficiently, but it was his leadership as well as his arm that made the difference.

With time winding down and Alabama needing points to put Alabama up by two scores, McCarron told his coaches he wanted to pass instead of pounding the ball between the tackles. Alabama executed a perfect run fake before McCarron tossed the ball to Jalston Folwer for what would be the winning score.

McCarron went 20-of-29 with 334 yards and four touchdowns on the day. He finished the game with a 93.8 quarterback rating, and more importantly, kept alive his team’s hope for a third straight BCS National Championship.

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