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Football The legend of Jalen Hurts grows

Discussion in 'Fansights' started by PhillyGirl, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. PhillyGirl

    PhillyGirl Phanatic HARRY'S

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    The legend of Alabama QB Jalen Hurts grows with another clutch victory


    Jalen Hurts doesn't remember when it happened. It was at some point during the third quarter -- presumably when Alabama was losing to Mississippi State.

    A member of ESPN's production crew was standing beside him.

    Unprompted, Hurts turned to the stranger and proclaimed, "I was built for stuff like this."

    The anecdote encapsulated the mythology surrounding Hurts -- Alabama's preternaturally poised quarterback who on this night wrote another chapter in his legend as he willed the Crimson Tide to a 31-24 win over Mississippi State.

    Since he began playing in Tuscaloosa, the lore surrounding Hurts has grown. His legion of followers know that somehow, some way, he'll find the path toward victory.

    They'd seen him prevail down twenty-one points down to Ole Miss. They'd watched him single-handedly broke a scoreless deadlock in the fourth quarter in the crucible of LSU's Death Valley. Before Saturday, he stepped on the field 24 times as a member of the Crimson Tide and walked off it a winner on 23 occasions.

    Then, on a cold night in Starkville, Miss., Hurts enjoyed his most heroic performance yet.

    In a game Alabama seemed so close to losing, the Tide's talisman engineered a comeback before applying the exclamation point to this fascinating drama -- a 26-yard touchdown strike to DeVonta Smith with 25 seconds left.

    "Most of the time, the bigger the situation, the better he is," Alabama coach Nick Saban.

    But for much of the night, Hurts was reduced to a mere mortal and made a supporting character in this thriller. He was done in by an offensive line that failed to control the line of scrimmage and a defense that couldn't find a way to give him enough opportunities to shine.

    For more than 33 of the first 45 minutes, Hurts was a spectator -- standing on the sideline helpless.

    Up until that point, he led seven drives and Alabama scored on three of them -- a 43 percent success rate that would make any coach happy.

    But Saban paced the far sideline with a look of concern as Mississippi State dictated the terms.

    Excluding Hurts' two completions to Calvin Ridley, the Tide averaged 4.3 yards per play in the first three quarters and struggled to string together time-consuming possessions against an aggressive Bulldogs defense.

    "They threw everything at us," Ridley said.

    In many ways, the problems that afflicted Alabama in a 14-point victory over LSU seven days before resurfaced Saturday.

    In that game, Hurts was sacked four times and pressured on 13 occasions. Alabama's vaunted ground attack, meanwhile, generated only 3.2 yards per carry.

    Afterwards, Saban maligned the offensive line's performance.

    "We didn't do a good job of blocking them up front," Saban said last Monday. "I don't think we did a good job of getting movement, which affected our ability and consistency in the running game. And when they created pass situations, we had far too many third-and-longs."

    It was a recipe for a disaster Alabama managed to skirt. But on Saturday the Tide flirted with calamity again and came much closer to realizing it.

    Hurts, who passed for 242 yards and gained 40 more with his legs, did all that he could to avoid the upset that stared him in the face.

    He completed those two critical passes to Ridley that netted 124 yards and set up a pair of game-tying touchdowns.

    In the fourth quarter, Hurts spearheaded a 10-play, 82-yard scoring drive that forged yet another deadlock -- knotting the score at 24 apiece.

    On that possession, Hurts pulled another Houdini act, escaping for 13 yards on a fourth-and-4 situation at Mississippi State's 34-yard line.

    But his best was yet to come.

    There was 1:09 left in regulation and Alabama stood 68 yards from the end zone with nothing separating the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs. It was still 24-24. Hurts, unfazed as he always is, was confident Alabama would reach its destination.

    He looked at the clock and then reflected on his only loss of his career -- the 35-31 defeat to Clemson in the national championship clash last season.

    He remembered the touchdown drive Deshaun Watson launched to steal a victory and tear the hearts out of Alabama's players.

    Hurts was determined to do the same to Mississippi State.

    In the cacophony of ringing cowbells and screaming fans, Hurts focused on the task and maintained his composure. He had the awareness to notice the Bulldogs were planning to bring all-out pressure as the Tide faced a third-and-15 situation at Alabama's 43-yard line. So he signaled to Ridley to adjust his route to a slant.

    Ridley initially objected.

    "Don't change it!" he yelled at Hurts.

    Hurts insisted.

    "Trust me," he said. "I got you."

    He then delivered a pinpoint pass to Ridley that gained 31 yards. Seconds later, on the very next play, he connected with Smith for the winning touchdown -- helping Alabama preserve its undefeated season while creating the kind of storybook ending fit for a legend.

    "I felt like I've been here before," Hurts said.

    It's because he has. Over and over again. And in the end, he's usually the one standing tall because that's how mythology works; the hero tends to win.
     
  2. rick4bama

    rick4bama Bama Fan since 1965 and counting.... HARRY'S

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    Thank for posting this!
     
  3. pignjig17

    pignjig17

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    Jalen Hurts greatest moment for me was that last drive against Clemson, when if the defense could have held up, He would have been a hero forever in Alabama lore. I hope he takes us to a victory over Auburn this year. And gets a National Championship this year. Say what you will but everytime the game has been on the line he has delivered somehow.
     
  4. jdpas29

    jdpas29 Verified Member

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    He makes it fun to watch
     
  5. planomateo

    planomateo 'cause small minds can't see past Uranus... ADMINISTRATION

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    Anyone else catch how calm his dad was when they showed him on the TV Saturday night?

    I want to say they showed him after a big play and his dad didn't really react much.
     
    Sgt. Lincoln Osiris likes this.
  6. BAMAneck

    BAMAneck

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    Great read .. Thanks .
     
  7. Birdman37

    Birdman37 Verified Member

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    Like father, like son. Mom doesn't freak out too much either. The only time I really saw them react was the game-winner. He slapped fives with fans and was smiling pretty big while mom was going nuts lol
     
  8. bamatommy

    bamatommy Verified Member

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    He was outstanding last Saturday. Bravo!
     
  9. Sgt. Lincoln Osiris

    Sgt. Lincoln Osiris Lead farmer

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    This right here is what earns respect from your top receiver. There were noticeable times last year and even this one where Ridley would show frustrated body language over the occasional mistimed pass from the young-and-still-learning QB.

    But as well as Jalen and Ridley have connected the last couple games on some huge 3rd down conversions, especially, this exchange right here cemented Ridley's trust in Jalen.

    That's growing into leadership.

    I love it.
     
    Crimson&WhiteGecko likes this.

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