There was a lot of hype for freshman quarterback Bryce Young, the No. 1 quarterback in last year's recruiting class. Mac Jones proved why he is the starter right now in Alabama football's win over Missouri Saturday, though.
Mac Jones completed 18-of-24 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns. He left the game after Alabama's first drive of the second half, capped by a Najee Harris touchdown run. That put 'Bama up 35-3.
Young got a good deal of experience behind Jones. While he was playing with the second unit against a Mizzou team hungry to make things respectable, he definitely doesn't look as ready as the veteran quarterback. He was 5-of-8 for 54 yards, but Missouri outscored Alabama 16-3 after Jones left the game.
Kirk Herbstreit isn't here for those downplaying Mac Jones as a star quarterback. He looked quite good in filling in for Tua Tagovailoa last season. That continued on Saturday.
“I don’t know what the kid has to do for people to be over ‘oh he’s Mac Jones,’” Herbstreit said on ESPN's CFB podcast on Monday, via 247. “You think they would recruit him to play at Alabama if he couldn’t play? I thought he did a really good job. And we were reminded of how uberly talented Jaylen Waddle is. Bama is just being Alabama."
Jones completed over 68-percent of his throws last year, averaging a very strong 10.7 yards per attempt, 14 touchdowns, and three interception. He picked up right where he left off in just over a half against Mizzou.
With a top running back in Najee Harris, and an elite wide receiver duo in Jaylen Waddle (eight receptions, 134 yards, two touchdowns Saturday) and DeVonta Smith (8/89), around him, Mac Jones should be plenty good enough to get Alabama back to the College Football Playoff.