Jalen Hurts is a true freshman quarterback playing for a national championship. Remember that when you watch him go head-to-head with Clemson’s Deshaun Watson on Monday night.
Hurts’ Alabama Crimson Tide faces Clemson in the College Football Playoff national title game in Tampa. Kickoff: 8:17 p.m. ET. TV: ESPN.
Also keep in mind that while Hurts played extremely well under similar circumstances, he’s not without warts. And perhaps his most glaring limitations are made quite apparent in chart form.
The folks at CFBfilmroom.com charted all 351 of Hurts’ pass attempts and put the results into an easy-to-digest graphic. Check it out.
Jalen Hurts passing chart entering the NC Game pic.twitter.com/oVjricNAxa
— CFB Film Room (@CFBFilmRoom) January 9, 2017
Some things to take away from that chart that should concern Alabama fans going into the game against Clemson:
- He completes just 30.7 percent of his passes while under pressure.
- He completes just 33.3 percent of passes more than 20 yards down the field.
- 80 of his 227 completions were behind the line of scrimmage.
Nick Saban and new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian are not likely to ask Hurts to do anymore in this game than he’s been asked to do in previous games, but the thought of Clemson’s offense duplicating its 40-point, 550-yard output from last season’s championship game has to linger in the mind of the Crimson Tide faithful.
If Watson, who is one of the most-polished passers in college football, turns this into a shootout, one has to wonder if Hurts can keep up. Furthermore, if Alabama falls behind, is Hurts prepared to make the necessary throws down the field to guide a comeback?
We’ll have our answers soon enough. Stay tuned.