Jake Coker silenced all of his detractors with one throw during Alabama’s 38-10 win over Georgia on Saturday afternoon.
The senior quarterback was already 6-of-7 for 113 yards with a little less than four minutes to play in the first half. To that point he had played under control, firing nearly every pass to a perfect spot on the field.
On 1st-and-10 from the Georgia 45-yard line, he took his performance from “good” to “great.”
Coker took a pistol snap, faked left to Kenyan Drake, spun around and planted himself firmly in the pocket. Looking down the field, he took a crow hop and launched the ball 55 yards through the air.
The pass landed perfectly in the hands of freshman receiver Calvin Ridley, and Alabama never looked back.
Now the Tide’s unquestioned starter moving forward, Coker was in competition with sophomore Cooper Bateman as recently as last week. Saturday, he posted a career-best 189.13 passer rating (11-of-16, 190 yards, one TD) while adding 28 rushing yards and a score on the ground.
Alabama’s prospects do not live and die by the arm of its quarterback — they never have — but AJ McCarron, Greg McElroy and Blake Sims all made crucial plays in huge games.
For the first time, fans can count on Coker to do the same.
Jake Coker with a perfect throw to Calvin Ridley for a 45-yard Alabama TD. Bama leads 24-3 pic.twitter.com/BaXBTs0rQr
— Craig Sager II (@CraigSagerJr) October 3, 2015
"Jake did a great job today. Changed protection a couple times. Changed field position couple times. Played w/confidence." -Saban on Coker.
— Rachel JOY Baribeau (@RachelBaribeau) October 3, 2015