Stuart McNair

Alabama freshman linebacker Mack Wilson had a first for tight end O.J. Howard

Mack Wilson scored first college touchdown in front of Alabama’s O.J. Howard

Alabama closed out its 48-0 win over Kent State last week with linebacker Mack Wilson moving to fullback in goalline offense and taking a one-yard touchdown pass from fellow freshman Jalen Hurts. 

Mack Wilson has a reputation as a versatile player, a linebacker on defense, fullback on offense, and capable of being a deep snapper.

Alabama Coach Nick Saban was matter-of-fact in discussing the play after the game, pointing out that Wilson plays that position in goalline and has done it in Bama’s previous three games.

But there was a little more to it, it seems.

In O.J. Howard’s meeting with reporters Tuesday, he was asked about the touchdown and what he saw when he looked at the film.

Howard said after the team watched the film that Wilson “was just apologizing. He really felt bad about it.

“I said, ‘That’s okay. At least somebody caught the ball.’” It seems that there was a bit of confusion in the end zone with Howard thinking the pass was intended for Wilson, and Wilson thinking it was intended for Howard.

It was a somewhat acrobatic reception.

“We were both looking like we thought the other was going to catch it,” Howard said. “It was his first career touchdown. I can’t be mad at him for that.”

Earlier in the game, though, Howard had taken a pass from Blake Barnett and turned it into a 34-yard touchdown.

Howard said he had “never” had a teammate apologize for scoring a touchdown.

“He felt bad,” Howard said. “He really did. He didn’t know I was going to be behind him. But like I told him, ‘ ‘It’s your first career touchdown. I’m going to let you slide this time.’”

Howard didn’t start the dialogue. He explained:

“It wasn’t me at first. I think Jalen (Hurts) was like, ‘I was throwing that one to O.J., but good catch.’ He came up to me and was like, ‘My bad.’ And that’s how it came up. And then he was watching film Monday and he saw it and then he kept apologizing, and I was like, ‘Don’t worry about it, man. It’s cool.’ And that’s how that came about.”

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