Inside one stat that proves Jalen Hurts’ growth as Alabama’s starting quarterback

Christopher Hanewinckel - USA TODAY Sports

Seeing true freshman Tua Tagovailoa account for two touchdown passes was indeed a sight to behold on last week; however, it still does not launch a quarterback controversy between he and sophomore Jalen Hurts. 

Dropped passes from both Calvin Ridley and Bo Scarbrough was the cause for Hurts having a zero in the scoring department against Vanderbilt; nevertheless, any signal-caller can generate success offensively when your sixth running back on the roster is posting five yards a carry. 

According to numerous media outlets – including ESPN – the Southeastern Conference’s reigning Offensive Player of the Year is one of two players (Danny Etling, LSU) in the league that has yet to toss an interception. Hurts is currently third in the SEC in completion percentage (64.3 percent) and fourth nationally among quarterbacks in total QBR with a rating of 85.2. 

He’s positively affected Alabama’s offense with his legs and arm as he’s attempted 146 consecutive passes without a pick since the 2016 Iron Bowl; the sixth longest streak in Crimson Tide football history. Overwhelming NFL scouts and college football analysts with gaudy passing numbers may not be his forte right now, but Hurts’ ability to protect the football and not put his defense in compromising situations is why Nick Saban continues to stick with him. 

“When you are playing against an aggressive, ball-hawking type of team which Vanderbilt was and Ole Miss will be you have to have great attention to taking care of the ball,” Saban said Monday. 

Through four games, Hurts chimes in with 910 yards offensively (550 passing, 360 rushing) with seven total touchdowns. He grown in his decision-making skills with each matchup, and expects to get even better as the Tide venture through the remainder of the season. 

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

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