Even in the midst of historic offensive production, Crimson Tide quarterback Mac Jones expressed his admiration for the physical approach to the game by his unit’s skill position players.
Appearing on Tuesday’s edition of “The Paul Finebaum Show,” Jones gave his assessment of his own team’s progress, as well as previewing his team’s matchup with Georgia.
When addressing a question from Finebaum about playing with what Finebaum called “the most powerful and explosive skill position players in the country,” the Tide quarterback was quick to offer his praise.
“That’s definitely a big reason why I chose to come here is just to play with guys like that who make you look better than you are,” he explained. “They go and make plays. Credit to the offensive line for doing their job, too, because it’s an 11-person operation, and they make it obviously a lot easier when you can just throw the ball up there, and they can get 10 or 15 yards like that. I think all of our skill players have done a great job.”
Jones did not hesitate to elaborate on what he really thinks sets that group apart.
“Even when they don’t have the ball that’s what has really impressed me this year is like you see Smitty, Waddle, Miller, all those guys, Metchie, blocking on RPOs and things like that after the play,” he stated. “That just fires me up to see them getting in there and getting physical with guys that might be a lot bigger than they are. But they go in there, and they’re fearless. They kind of play like our offensive line plays so we’re all kind of in the same category of going out there and doing our jobs to the best of our ability.”
As for Alabama’s offensive line, Jones described their performance as “almost perfect all year.”
And he knows something about near perfection.
Jones has thrown for 1,101 yards with an astounding 80% completion rate, which is even more remarkable given the fact that he is leading the nation in yards per pass attempt. He is first in passing efficiency, as well.
The Crimson Tide enter the showdown against the Bulldogs leading the nation in scoring offense and ranking third in total offense.
PFF College has Jones as its highest-rated Power 5 quarterback.
Highest-graded Power Five quarterbacks
1. Mac Jones – 94.0
2. Trevor Lawrence – 92.4
3. D’Eriq King – 90.6 pic.twitter.com/myLVOnlDrL
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 13, 2020
He is fourth on ESPN’s Heisman Watch List.
Perhaps one of the reasons Jones has seen his offseason development translate to the field was the plan put in place by Alabama under COVID-19 restrictions.
The Crimson Tide program handled the situation well, according to Jones, because of the preparation by head coach Nick Saban.
“It was definitely hard,” Jones told Finebaum. “I think it goes back to Coach Saban, he’s always one step ahead. Right when we got sent home, we had everything planned out. Obviously there were some changes to the plan along the way but he did a great job just implementing what he wanted to do, and making sure that we stayed on top of what we needed to do just day-by-day, kind of taking that philosophy of ‘you gotta be ready as if we’re playing tomorrow.’ Every day you just have to prepare like that. If feel like everybody on our team did a really, really good job.”
With the epic matchup in Tuscaloosa looming, all eyes will be on Jones offense squaring off against the vaunted Georgia defense.
Kirk Herbstreit confirmed what everyone else sees in an appearance on the “ESPN College Football Podcast.”
“The only thing I know for sure is that Mac Jones and the Alabama offense against the Georgia defense, that side of the ball is going to live up to its billing,” stated Herbstreit. “That is what you are going to this game to watch.”
Jones offered his own summary of Saturday evening’s proceedings.
“At the end of the day, they have great players, we have great players so it comes down to execution and the team that’s the most prepared and ready to play will be the team that comes out on top,” he concluded.