Stuart McNair

Freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts leads the way in recognition for Alabama

Alabama’s 49-10 win over Tennessee in Knoxville results in player honors

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Showing up big in big time games is paying off for Alabama football players when it comes to recognition, particularly for Crimson Tide freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts. Hurts was selected as the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week, the second time this year he has earned that honor and his third honor overall after having also been named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week.

He was joined at the SEC level by freshman right tackle Jonah Williams, who was named the league’s offensive lineman of the week. It was his second conference honor as he had previously been named SEC Freshman of the Week.

The honors came following No. 1 ranked Alabama’s 49-10 defeat of previously ninth-ranked Tennessee in Knoxville Saturday.

Hurts was also named Scout’s SEC Player of the Week.

This week the Crimson Tide (7-0 overall, 4-0 in SEC games) is back in action in a key SEC game as Bama hosts sixth-ranked and undefeated Texas A&M (6-0, 4-0). The Aggies are coming off an open date. Kickoff will be at 2:30 p.m. CDT with CBS televising.

Hurts led Alabama to its convincing win over Tennessee by rushing 12 times for 132 yards (11 yards per carry) and three touchdowns and completing 16 of 26 passes for 143 yards. His three rushing touchdowns was the first time a Bama player has accomplished that feat since Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry did it in the College Football Playoff Championship Game win over Clemson last season.

Williams helped clear a path for the Tide’s 594 yards of total offense against the Vols. The freshman posted a grade of 90 per cent and did not allow a quarterback hurry or a sack while committing no penalties. He provided the time for Alabama to rush for a Nick Saban-era high 438 yards on the ground with five rushing touchdowns. Williams’ blocking helped Hurts (132), along with running back Bo Scarbrough (109), eclipse the 100-yard rushing barrier while Damien Harris was just off the century mark at 94 yards on the ground. The Crimson Tide averaged 7.8 yards per play and 8.9 yards per rush.

The Alabama coaching staff recognized 10 players following the Tide’s win over Tennessee. Bradley Bozeman, ArDarius Stewart, and Jonah Williams were selected on offense; Jonathan Allen, Ryan Anderson, Reuben Foster, and Ronnie Harrison on defense; and Adam Griffith, Eddie Jackson, and JK Scott on special teams.

The offensive line duo of Bozeman and Williams helped clear a path for 594 yards of total offense. Bozeman anchored the line, making all the calls from the center position.  Stewart hauled in a career-high eight receptions for 54 yards while rushing for a touchdown. The junior wideout accounted for 83 all-purpose yards and averaged 9.2 yards each time he touched the football.

The defensive unit, led by Allen, Anderson, Foster, and Harrison, was key to the Tide limiting Tennessee to only 163 yards of total offense. Allen made four tackles with three solo stops and a tackle for loss. He added his fifth sack of the season and the 23rd of his career to tie for third place in career sacks at Alabama. Anderson finished with two tackles, a tackle for loss, a pass breakup, and a quarterback pressure. Foster finished with four tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and a pass breakup. Harrison accounted for his second defensive touchdown of the season with a 58-yard interception return. He also led Alabama in defensive production points while accounting for seven total tackles, including six solo stops.

Griffith was good on all seven extra point kicks and kicked off eight times for 506 yards to average 63.2 yards per kick with four going for a touchback. Jackson highlighted the Alabama effort on special teams, scoring his second punt return touchdown of the season on a 79-yard return early in the fourth quarter. He now leads the nation in both yards per punt return (25.8 ) and punt return touchdowns (2), and becomes just the eighth player in school history to return two punts for a touchdown in a season. Scott punted four times for 200 yards for an average of 50 yards per punt. He had a long of 62.

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