Alabama Football: There is room for debate if Mac Jones is the best in CFB but no debate he must be against UGA.
The evolution of Alabama football quarterback, Mac Jones comes at a most opportune time. So far and into the foreseeable future, the Crimson Tide will rise or fall in 2020 on its powerful offense. With time, the defense can make more of a contribution, but as the Ole Miss game showed, that time is probably weeks away.
Statistically, Alabama football has one of the best offenses and one of the worst defenses. Among the 76 competing FBS teams, the Alabama Crimson Tide is No.1 in average-points-scored; No. 3 in average-yards-gained; No. 44 in average-points-allowed and No. 66 in average-yards-allowed.
Arguably the nation’s best defense comes to Tuscaloosa on Saturday. The Georgia Bulldogs are No. 2 in average-yards-allowed; No. 5 in average-points-allowed; No. 22 in average-points-scored and No. 34 in average-yards-gained.
Only three 2020 games and no common opponents do not provide enough data for anything beyond clues. A loose conclusion is; Georgia is closer to matching the Crimson Tide offensively than the Tide is to matching the Bulldogs defensively. Suggesting, that on Saturday night, the Alabama football offense must be very good to win.
With all the talents Steve Sarkisian can employ, Mac Jones is the one that must be the most decisive. Mac’s short career and meteoric rise indicate Mac is up to the task. So do his stats.
Using the ESPN Passer Rating, Mac Jones is No. 1 in college football with a rating of 220.3. No. 2 is Matt Corral. Georgia Bulldogs’ starting quarterback, Stetson Bennett is No. 15, with a rating of 151.6. Mac is No. 2 in completion percentage at 79.5 percent. He is No. 1 in average yards-per-attempt at 13.3 yards. Diving deep into the ESPN data shows among quarterbacks having thrown 75 or more passes, only three QBs have been sacked less than Mac Jones. That would make him tied for No. 4 with fewest times sacked.
Slowly emerging is something else about Mac Jones. He may be a better QB for Steve Sarkisian’s offense than Tua Tagovailoa. Yes, that is a bold claim. Tua was a generational talent as the Tide QB. He had skills Mac Jones does not possess, but Mac does some things better than Tua.
Sark’s offense last season continued past use of RPO but most of the runs out of the option were by the running backs. The Crimson Tide still runs some RPO, but Jones is even less of a threat to run than Tua. What Mac does better than Tua is he gets the ball out quicker. He is not much of a running threat but he slides around the pocket to avoid pressure better than Tua. Coupled with excellent pass protection, Mac’s subtle moves to avoid pressure are integral to the Tide’s passing success. It can even be claimed Mac is equal to Tua in overall accuracy. So far, Mac’s deep ball is better than Tua.
Mac Jones may not be flashy. He may not present much of a dual-threat. But, he is very good and cannot be labeled as a game manager.