Ole Miss’ Marquis Haynes was free and unblocked, and no one was in between him and Alabama freshman quarterback, Jalen Hurts. After the hit, Hurts flew backwards, and so did the football. John Youngblood took the football to the house, and pandemonium ensued inside Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. The Rebels had a 24-3 lead. The biggest deficit Alabama had faced since the 2008 Sugar Bowl against Utah.
Hurts got back up and walked back to the Alabama sideline. The nation might have been thinking the Rebels would three-peat, but he didn’t have that in mind. The freshman got back up and Alabama went on a 45-6 run.
“I just knew the type of player [Hurts] is, the type of competitor he is as well as everybody on the team, we’re all a bunch of fighters,” running back Damien Harris said. “I knew that regardless of what the scoreboard was, we were going to fight until the end.”
Ryan Anderson saw the tougher side of Hurts back in January when he played scout-team quarterback to mimic Clemson’s Deshaun Watson.
“Yeah, he was tough then,” Anderson said. “Our quarterbacks – they wear black [non-contact] jerseys. [Former defensive lineman] A’Shawn [Robinson] and [Jarran] Reed never cared about that. They used to hit Blake [Barnett]. Then when Jalen came, they were hitting him and he’d just jump back up. Blake was used it, but Jalen coming right out of high school, he showed me he was tough right then.”
Hurts was impressive Saturday. He was the leading rusher and passer for the team and accumulated 304 total offensive yards. He became the first Alabama quarterback to throw and rush for over 100 yards in a game since 2001 when Tyler Watts did it. Hurts ran for 10 yards or more eight times.
That performance was good enough to earn attention from the SEC. On Monday, the conference honored the true freshman as the SEC’s Offensive Player of the Week.
“It’s always great to have another weapon out there on the field that can run and gun and do what we have to do,” center Bradley Bozeman said. “It’s good for us.”
Hurts may be young, but he is one of the few freshmen have caught the attention of his team, and his coach.
“[Hurts is] very focused, nothing affects him, nothing bothers him,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. Nothing bothered him in the game.”
Source:: The Crimson White Sports