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Mac Jones, UA’s defense dominated first half versus Arkansas

Butch Dill - USA TODAY Sports

No Tua Tagovailoa… No problem. 

Alabama football had its version of “The Joker” in redshirt sophomore, Mac Jones, as he received his first career start at quarterback versus Arkansas. The native Floridian lead six scoring drives – including two touchdown passes in a 41-0 lead at halftime. 

Jones completed 16 of 20 passes for 186 yards. 

RELATED: Alabama notes from warmups, prior to facing Arkansas

Najee Harris has been on a mission since the Southern Mississippi game.

He continues to surge as he leads the Crimson Tide in rushing with 75 yards on 12 carries. The junior running back turned in two rushing scores and is averaging 6.3 yards per carry. 

Jerry Jeudy is back in the scoring column for the first time since Sept. 21.  

He had gone three consecutive weeks without a touchdown, until Jones found him for a 14-yard strike in the first quarter. Jeudy has six receptions for 63 yards, while Henry Ruggs III was responsible for hauling in Jones’ second scoring toss – which was a 14-yard completion. 

Ruggs has three catches for 45 yards and DeVonta Smith with four catches for 67 yards.  

Defensively, Alabama forced four turnovers. 

Anfernee Jennings recorded his first interception of the season off Arkansas’ Nick Starkel and Christian Harris recovered a fumble.

Harris leads the team in total tackles (five) and Jennings chimes in with four stops. Patrick Surtain II collected his second interception of the year, picking off Starkel in the second quarter.

Not to be outdone, Trevon Diggs grabbed his third pick of the year and his second touchdown — as he returned it 84 yards for a score. 

Terrell Lewis leads the team in quarterback hurries (four) and has been in Starkel’s face all game.

The Razorbacks have just 127 yards of total offense, with 59 of it coming from its rushing attack. Alabama has frustrated Starkel as he’s completed just five of 17 passes for 58 yards.

With Jones in complete control, the Tide looks put a bow on a complete game effort. 

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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 @CoachingMSmith.

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