Alabama running back Damien Harris got the ball on the opening drive with the words of his coach on his mind. Alabama coach Nick Saban had preached to his players to start the game well. On 3rd-and-2 Harris busted through the line for six yards and a first down. However, he didn’t get right back up.
It was up to sophomore running back Bo Scarbrough and freshmen B.J. Emmons and Joshua Jacobs to fulfill the fast start. Scarbrough and Emmons were both ESPN five-star and four-star recruits respectively, but it was Jacobs who emerged from the pack.
Jacobs, a freshman from Oklahoma, took the ball 11 times for 97 yards and two touchdowns.
“We were searching last year in recruiting for running backs, because we knew we had a little bit of a depth issue losing the top two guys we had last year, Derrick [Henry] and Kenyan [Drake],” Saban said. “We found Josh a little late in recruiting but we were happy that we were able to get him. We were very impressed with him.“
Harris is now day-to-day with a high ankle sprain, which could mean more playing time for Jacobs. He is now third on the team in rushing, behind Harris and dual-threat quarterback Jalen Hurts with 150 yards. Even if Harris returns, it looks like Jacobs may have solidified his position as the second man in the backfield.
“All those guys have done a really nice job. It’s nice knowing that if somebody was to go down, we have guys back there that can execute and do a really good job for us,” left guard Ross Pierschbacher said. “It makes it fun for us to see those guys step up and play on a big stage like this and have that success.”
Saban said Harris will probably not do much in practice Monday, and he may have to miss another game. Alabama will be playing home against Kentucky on Saturday, and the Wildcats might provide Jacobs with another chance to prove himself.
“Typically a guy that shows great maturity and understanding and is very instinctive as a football player, and I think it shows up in his play and how he plays, and it’s certainly showed up in how he’s developed to be able to play,” Saban said. “Hopefully he’ll continue to improve and get better and he’ll be able to be productive as we move forward.”
Source:: The Crimson White Sports