TUSCALOOSA—Oklahoma’s loss is Alabama’s gain.
If stepping up last week for Damien Harris and Bo Scarbrough wasn’t good enough, true freshman running back Joshua Jacobs returned on Saturday to remind fans how special he is. After collecting 97 yards and two scores against Kent State, Jacobs burned Kentucky for 144 yards from scrimmage on 19 touches in the Crimson Tide’s 34-6 win. He recorded his first 100-yard game (100), coming on 16 carries—a new career-high.
Jacobs’ nifty footwork in the hole guided him to 6.2 yards per carry. He capped off Alabama’s first touchdown drive, reaching the end zone from a yard away in the second quarter. While fans have been impressed by his skills as a back, the Tide’s coaching staff and Jacobs’ teammates took notice of his hands at receiver. The 5-foot-10, 204-pound ball carrier finished behind Calvin Ridley, totaling three catches for 44 yards. Coach Nick Saban told the media that he and this team as a whole has full confidence in the four-star, all-purpose back.
“Josh is really playing well,” Saban said. “We have a lot of confidence in Damien Harris, who has played extremely well for us all year long. He wasn’t able to practice much this week, but was cleared to play. We decided to just use him for third downs and it gave Josh more opportunities, which he took advantage of.”
Much like his coach, Alabama center Bradley Bozeman has been thrilled with Jacobs’ play.
“It’s great when anyone can step up for the team and put up numbers,” Bozeman said.
Sophomore Ronnie Harrison may be on the defensive side of the ball, but he’s been on Jacobs since the offseason. The 6-foot-3, 216-pound safety referred to him as an “explosive player.”
“He really burst onto the scene during fall camp,” Harrison said on Jacobs.
“He’s a smart runner who runs well behind his pads and has good feet.”
The talk all offseason was Bo Scarbrough, but it’s been the combination of Harris and Jacobs that has been the most consistent for Alabama at running back. The Tide will travel to D.W.R. Razorback Stadium on next week to kick off a brutal stretch against the Arkansas Razorbacks.