It is evident that Jacob Coker isn’t a complete quarterback yet. He has a lot to improve on, but his toughness was second to none Saturday night against Mississippi. Alabama’s head coach Nick Saban provided some added motivation starting redshirt sophomore Cooper Bateman over Coker. Bateman was tabbed as the secret element; however, Coker kept fighting.
Ole Miss led 17-3 in the second quarter, when Coker took the field.
He engineered Alabama’s first touchdown drive of the game. A possession that lasted 15 plays for 75 yards and ended on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Coker to wideout Richard Mullaney .
A 14-point deficit at home is bad enough, but the Crimson Tide trailed by 20 in the third quarter. Coker calmly led another touchdown drive, culminating in nine plays for 69 yards.
He ended the drive with a three-yard touchdown run, cutting the Rebels lead to 30-17.
Coker’s first possession in the fourth quarter brought life to a dead Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama cut Mississippi’s lead to 30-24, on a 6-play, 46-yard drive that ended on an 8-yard touchdown reception by redshirt sophomore wide receiver ArDarius Stewart.
Two quick touchdowns ballooned Ole Miss’s lead back to 19 (43-24), nevertheless Coker responded with two more touchdown drives of 75 and 30 yards. He used every inch of his 6-foot-5, 232-pound frame to flip the script on a game that was going wrong for Alabama.
Coker is not known for his mobility, yet the senior averaged 8.3 yards per carry.
He totaled 201 passing yards, 58 rushing yards, four total touchdowns and two interceptions.
Did Coker have some bad passes? Yes. Did he make a lot of cardinal mistakes? Yes.
But, Alabama only scored three points with Bateman. Coker navigated the team to 34 points.
His decision-making and accuracy needs more tweaking, but there were moments Saturday night that fans saw the fire in Coker. Moments occurred against the Rebels, in which Alabama felt Coker could lead this team. Ole Miss got a huge 43-37 win, but Coker never threw in the towel.