Alabama Coach Nick Saban broke the news at his regular noon press briefing Monday. “I’m really happy that Josh Jacobs got named SEC freshman of the week,” Saban said. “It's a great honor for him and I think he did a fantastic job in the game.” That was a bit of an overstatement, but still a fine achievement as Jacobs was selected the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week.
Making his first career start for the Crimson Tide, Jacobs recorded 100 yards on the ground to reach the century mark for the first time during his collegiate career. He rushed only 16 times to average 6.2 yards per carry and recorded one touchdown. Jacobs also caught a career-best three passes for 44 yards to help him finish with 144 yards of total offense. The Tulsa, Okla., native converted first downs on nine of his 19 touches, including seven rushing first downs and two through the air. He finished with an average of 7.6 yards per touch with long plays of 28 yards rushing and 23 yards receiving.
For the season, Jacobs has rushed 34 times and collected 250 yards to average 7.4 yards per carry. He has also scored three times to lead all tailbacks and tie for the team-high mark for rushing scores. Through the air, Jacobs has caught five passes for 67 yards to average 13.4 yards per catch.
The Alabama coaching staff recognized Jacobs and eight other players following the Crimson Tide’s 34-6 win over Kentucky in the SEC opener at Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday. Jacobs was joined by Calvin Ridley and Cam Robinson on offense; Reuben Foster, Shaun Dion Hamilton, and Tim Williams on defense; and Keaton Anderson, Adam Griffith, and Bo Scarbrough on special teams.
Jacobs and Ridley each had career days against the Wildcats, helping the offense accumulate 488 total yards. Ridley caught 11 passes for 174 yards, both career-high marks, while scoring two touchdowns to match his previous career best. Ridley averaged 14.5 yards per catch with seven of his 11 catches going for a first down.
Robinson helped provide time for the offense to develop, posting a dominant performance at left tackle to grade out at 88 per cent. He had a pair of knockdown blocks and did not allow a sack or commit a penalty.
The trio of Foster, Hamilton and Williams were key to the Tide defense limiting Kentucky to only 161 yards of total offense. Foster finished with six tackles and a quarterback hurry on the day, while Hamilton tied for the team-high and set a new career-high mark with eight stops. Williams came off the bench in the second half to record four stops, including a team-high three tackles for loss (-14 yards) and one sack (-9 yards).
Anderson and Scarbrough helped limit Kentucky to zero punt return yards and only 79 yards on kickoffs. Griffith was perfect on all four extra point attempts and added field goals from 44 and 24 yards out.