White’s offense struggles in A-Day loss

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White’s offense struggles in A-Day loss

Dmitriy Shmagin

Dmitriy Shmagin

Dmitriy Shmagin

Ben Stansell

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Even with Tua Tagovailoa being held out of A-Day as he recovers from an injured hand, much of the conversation leading up to Alabama’s spring game swirled around the battle between Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts for starting quarterback. Nonetheless, it was third string quarterback Mac Jones who stole the spotlight during the game.

Jones secured a share of Most Valuable Player honors after throwing for 289 and two touchdowns, while leading the Crimson team to a 24 – 12 victory.

Senior running back Damien Harris said he was very proud of Jones, who he affectionately refers to as his ‘son.’

“That’s my son,” Harris said. “It’s crazy. I told him I’m going to get my trophy from two years ago and then we’ll take a picture with his and it’s like a father, son picture.”

One of the game’s most explosive highlights came when Jones completed a pass to redshirt freshman Chadarius Townsend, who broke a tackle and raced down the sideline for a 65-yard score. Jones then cemented his share of MVP when he threw a 46-yard touchdown strike to sophomore Xavian Marks with 35 seconds left in the game.

On the other side, Hurts completed 19 of 37 passes for 195 yards and one interception. Although Hurts’ underwhelming performance will only stoke the fire of debate surrounding the starting quarterback job, coach Nick Saban asserted that he was not unhappy with the rising junior’s play.

“I was not disappointed in the way Jalen [Hurts] played,” Saban said.

Saban emphasized that the disparity in the two quarterbacks’ performances could be attributed to the fact that Jones was competing against Alabama’s second team defense, while Hurts was going against Alabama’s first team defense.

“We had the first offense playing against the first defense,” Saban said. “The first defense is probably a lot better than the second defense. We probably have, if you’re going to evaluate our team, we have a little less depth on defense based on all the players that we lost. I think that probably the second offense was a little bit better than the second defense.”

Hurts and the rest of the White team’s offense struggled to gain any traction against the Crimson team’s defense. Despite moving the ball into opposing territory several times, the White team had to settle for four Joseph Bulovas field goals as its only points. 

In his debut, Bulovas converted five of his seven field goal attempts and earned a share of the MVP award along with Jones.

The Crimson team’s defensive front consistently harassed Hurts, sacking him  seven times and forcing him to make numerous errant passes. Alabama rotated several offensive lineman during A-Day, still searching for a distinguished starting group.

“I think that there’s always a lot that we can improve on,” junior offensive lineman Jonah Williams said. “Definitely from this game, we made some errors we shouldn’t be making and weren’t as efficient as we want to be.”