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Mac Jones’ efforts in Rose Bowl win makes him first 4,000-yard passer in Nick Saban era at Alabama

Mac Jones celebrates TD pass to Jahleel Billingsley for Alabama in Rose Bowl Game
Kevin Jairaj - USA TODAY SPORTS

He has gone from being a three-star recruit and a scout-team quarterback, to becoming an SEC Champion, a Rose Bowl Game winner, a Heisman finalist, a fan favorite, and now needs one final victory to be a national champion.

Mac Jones has proven to be more than enough for the University of Alabama football program.

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His persona of “The Joker” and his competitive nature guided the Crimson Tide back to the College Football Playoff and had its explosive offense against Notre Dame for a CFP semifinal matchup. Despite not scoring 35 to 40 points, Jones propelled the Tide to a 31-14 win over the Fighting Irish on Friday at AT&T Stadium — advancing it into the CFP National Championship Game.

The redshirt junior got Alabama going early with two touchdown passes in the first quarter.

He found DeVonta Smith on a 26-yard strike and Jahleel Billingsley for a 12-yard score. Both touchdowns capped off scoring drives expanding 70-plus yards. Jones would hook up with Smith two more times, including a long score of 36 yards in the second quarter. He finished with 297 passing yards and four touchdowns on an 83.3 percent completion rating (25-for-30 passing).

Prior to the game, Jones had 3,739 yards passing.

RELATED: Alabama football rolls past Notre Dame in Rose Bowl

His output versus Notre Dame moved him to 4,036 yards on the season, making him the first-ever 4,000-yard passer of the Nick Saban era at Alabama. He also now has the single-season school record for passing yards, surpassing Tua Tagovailoa’s mark of 3,966 yards in 2018.

His 36 scoring tosses has him second all-time for a single-season, as he stands behind Tagovailoa’s record of 43 in 2018. Jones has seven performances with at least four touchdown passes, including a pair of five score games versus Auburn and Florida (SEC Championship).

During the preseason, there was much conversation as to whether Jones would be enough to win a national title. His answer has been a resounding “Yes” thus far, and he looks to finish the job on Jan. 11 against Ohio State.

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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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