The Crimson Tide had more than enough firepower to overcome No. 4 Washington on New Year’s Eve, but the Huskies may yet get the last laugh. Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts finished with a season-low 57 passing yards and was held out of the end zone completely for the first time since 48-43 victory over Ole Miss that required three non-offensive touchdowns.
He can’t dwell on the performance though. Alabama’s offense will need a lot more from the passing game if it’s going to beat Clemson on Monday to secure another national championship.
No. 1 Alabama faces No. 3 Clemson on Monday night the defending national champions will have to hope their freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts can continue to shake things off after the passing game sputtered against the Huskies in the Peach Bowl.
“It’s not just him [Hurts] that feels bad about he played,” wide receiver Calvin Ridley said. “It was a lot of us… I feel like he’s got his confidence back and he’s ready to go out there and do what he needs to do.”
When Alabama coach Nick Saban announced Steve Sarkisian would replace Lane Kiffin as offensive coordinator a week early following the win against Washington some speculated the change could affect Hurts’ rhythm.
Ridley disagrees. If anything he’s watched Hurts take his focus and preparation to a new level this week.
“I feel like he [Hurts] really likes Coach Sarkisian, and Coach Sarkisian is giving him a lot of new tips, a lot of new things to get better,” Ridley said. “I think he’s following up on that stuff real good, so I can’t wait to get out there on Monday.”
Fresh eyes and new plays aren’t just helping Hurts. Ridley said practices have run smoother this week than they were under Kiffin.
The new offensive coordinator has also impressed Ridley with the hustle he shows in practice.
“He’s real cool. I mean, he runs around with us, drill to drill,” Ridley said. “He’s always thanking us – thank you, thank you – when we’re working hard and running our routes full speed. It’s always good to have somebody in your ear like that, building your confidence, when you work hard.”
Despite the great things Ridley said about Sarkisian on it was also evident that the wide receiver still remained appreciative of Kiffin.
He sent this tweet out earlier this week:
@Lane_Kiffin thank you for everything gone miss you
— Calvin Ridley (@CalvinRidley1) January 3, 2017
His response when asked about the Tweet on Thursday:
“It was just out of respect. I had always talked to Coach Kiffin, so I just gave him respect saying thank you for what you did and all that, being here. Just respect.”
Source:: The Crimson White Sports