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Lane Kiffin talks Alabama QB Jalen Hurts, says ‘he pretty hard to stop’

Marvin Gentry - USA TODAY Sports

Lane Kiffin isn’t revealing anything new. 

Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts has been nothing but focused this season after coming up short of doing something that had not been done since former Oklahoma signal-caller Jamelle Holieway (1985), which was guide a program to a national championship as a true freshman. 

He heard a lot of chatter during the offseason from him not making progressions to how freshman Tua Tagovailoa should be starting; nevertheless, Hurts paid it no attention. 

Since last year’s Iron Bowl, the sophomore has improved both his accuracy and decision making as he carries the third-best mark in school history with 169 consecutive passes without an interception.

He’s also gotten better in creating a healthy balance between passing and rushing – totaling 1,208 yards offensively (747 passing, 461 rushing) with 10 touchdowns in five games. 

While first-year offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has him maximizing his capabilities into one half of football, Kiffin, who’s now at Florida Atlantic, saw this coming before the season started. 

Regarded as one of the best minds in college football, Kiffin mentored Hurts into being the Southeastern Conference’s Freshman and Offensive Player of the Year in 2016. He set the Crimson Tide’s single-season record in touchdowns (36), and turned in 3,734 total yards. 

“He’s pretty hard to stop,” Kiffin said on Hurts. 

“I just think that for whatever reason he takes some criticism. The guy is a winner. He’s won every game as a starter but one. True freshman SEC Offensive Player of the Year and the first to do that since Herschel Walker. Now, he’s off to a start this year with no turnovers.” 

In playing 80 percent of games in the first half alone, Hurts has navigated Alabama to outscoring opponents 66-3 in the first quarter and 118-16 in the first half through the last four games. 

He accounts for nearly half the offensive output – 46.5 percent – collecting 1,057 of the Crimson Tide’s 2,274 yards during this period. He’s completed 66.2% of his throws in the process. 

“He gets pulled from games early because they [Alabama] are so good,” Kiffin said. So, he doesn’t have the gaudy passing stats that others may have, but you know he’s hard to stop.” 

Alabama is the lone FBS school that has yet to record a giveaway. Hurts takes this mentality to Kyle Field in attempts to defeat Texas A&M. 

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.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 15 years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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