Alabama Crimson Tide will keep their No.1 ranking next week thanks in large part to Jalen Hurts and Nick Saban. The Tide defeated Western Kentucky Saturday 38-10 in front of their home crowd to start the season 2-0.
The main question going into the game was if Saban would give Hurts more responsibly than he did against USC? Hurts attempted only 11 passes his first college game, but Saban had seen enough and felt the time was right to let the freshmen loose on the world. Hurts completed 23-36 passes for 287 yards and 2 TDs as a thank you to his coach.
If Hurts and Saban can continue to stay on the same page, there’s no telling where the freshman can lead them. The win over WKU was a total team effort as WR’s Calvin Ridley (9-129) and ArDarius Stewart (5-90) helped ease the load on the young arm. The ground game managed to tack on 124 yards on 39 carries as a surprisingly good WKU defense held the Bama runners in check most of the game.
The defense came up big with four sacks and a pick six by safety Eddie Jackson that added a little cushion to Bama’s lead early. The Tide gained 470+ yards on offense (I predicted 500) and the defense held WKU to under 300. On a week where the top ranked teams faced inferior competition, this was supposed to be a cake walk as the Tide geared up for next week’s game against Mississippi.
Hurts have the skills to run the table and with the production, he’s receiving from his skill players there should not be a letdown for the rest of the season. We should expect a few struggle moments from the freshman, but if Saban is willing to let him work the kinks out, then Alabama could very well be on their way to a repeat.
All thanks to a freshman and the trust of his coach.