Georgia came into the game against Alabama with the top-ranked defense in the country. It didn’t matter, however, as the Crimson Tide were able to rack up 564 total yards, 417 of which came through the air, in a 41-24 victory over the Bulldogs.
Over the course of the four quarters, Alabama proved two things. For one, it proved that it has the best offense in the country. Secondly, it proved that there are two legitimate Heisman Trophy contenders on this team: quarterback Mac Jones and running back Najee Harris.
Those 417 yards passing against that elite Georgia defense? Those all belong to Jones, and he added four scores to his numbers as well. He did have a questionable interception early, but he immediately bounced back and was practically flawless throughout the rest of the game.
Jones also finished with a 75-percent completion rate and a 219.5 rating.
On the other hand, the run game for Alabama didn’t have a ton of success outside of Harris. But it didn’t need to. The 6-foot-2, 230-pound runner produced 152 yards on 31 carries, a 4.9-yard per carry average. He also added one catch for 10 yards.
Harris ran with power when he needed to. He displayed vision and the ability to make people miss. He was the complete package in a game he was desperately needed.
Why? Because balance is key when playing an elite defense like Georgia. It kept the Bulldogs guessing with how they needed to try to attack the Crimson Tide, and that ultimately played a huge factor in the outcome of the game.
It should also be noted that Harris finished with a significant percentage of the carry distribution amongst the running backs. With 81.6-percent of the carries given, the former five-star prospect proved that he’s capable of handling a Derrick Henry-type workload. And like the former Heisman winner out of Alabama, he proved that he gets better with more carries.
This was an offensive performance that didn’t come against Missouri’s defense. It didn’t come against Texas A&M or Ole Miss. It came against the No. 3 team in the country. And the reason they were ranked that high was the top-tier, elite defense.
It ultimately didn’t matter, though.
People like to talk about “Heisman moments?” Well, there were plenty of them to go around in this one, and it’s time that people finally start to acknowledge that Alabama has two top-notch Heisman Trophy contenders.
In fact, we might be able to go ahead and throw wide receivers DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle into that mix as well.
What Alabama was able to achieve in a matchup of top-five teams, especially considering the uncertainty surrounding Nick Saban’s availability due to COVID-19, is nothing short of incredible. And for anyone wondering, the undefeated record remains intact against former assistants. It now sits at 22-0.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.