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What to make of Jalen Hurts' regression...?

on 1/02/2017

Crimson Tide Football:

It's a bit disconcerting that Jalen Hurts has regressed in the last six weeks. But he has, and it's a bit usual that the talented freshman has taken a step backwards instead of showing signs of progress at this stage of his first college season. 

Hurts has posted three of his four worst "raw" quarterback ratings in his career during the last four games, according to ESPN's stat service.

The one attached to his stat line Saturday [
13.8] was by far the lowest of the year. Hurts completed only 50 percent of his 14 pass attempts for 57 yards. 

He didn't contribute a touchdown pass, but he also didn't commit a turnover. Still, he flirted with disaster when his first throw of the game was nearly intercepted by Washington safety Budda Baker.

I think he'd be the first to tell you he didn't play great today," Kiffin said. "But again, like I said all week, in the press conference, this is a big stage and he's still a true freshman."

Before Saturday, it was drilled into Hurts' head that he must avoid giving the ball away at all costs. Hurts adhered to the conservative game plan, passing up risky throws on several occasions.

When something is not there, you just want to be smart with the ball and throw it away and get what you could get," Hurts said.

Alabama coach Nick Saban has long preferred his quarterback to be a game manager. Hurts is just a more athletic version of some of his predecessors. 

But his deficiencies as a passer continue to be revealed to the world, and there is no sign that he is capable of fixing them before the 2017 season begins.

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