Mac’s been the man for Crimson Tide

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Alabama quarterback Michael McCorkle Jones is one of the best athletes in college football. You may know him better as “Mac.”

With all due respect to Kyle Trask of Florida, who is having an amazing season and owns slightly better numbers, Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, who will be this year’s No.1 draft pick, and Justin Fields, who tossed three picks in last week’s squeaker to Indiana, Jones is the one I truly enjoy watching every week.

Jones heads up the No. 3 offense in the nation in both passing (366.1 yards per game) and scoring (49.4 PPG). When Jaylen Waddle, a future first-round pick and arguably the best wideout in the country,  went down on the first play of the game against Tennessee on Oct. 24, many thought Alabama’s season was in jeopardy. Especially that this year their defense wasn’t as ferocious as past stop-units.

But Jones has led the Crimson Tide to a perfect 7-0 record and a No. 1 ranking. Granted, Jones isn’t as flashy as some others, but he is the ideal quarterback and team leader for Nick Saban. The 22-year-old product of the famed, Bolles School has amassed some very impressive statistics this season. He has 2,426 yards passing, a 77.1% completion rate, and has thrown for 18 touchdowns while having been intercepted just three times.

Some other quarterbacks may be able to run the ball better, and some have better stats, but very few have the mind and the heart that Jones possesses. When crunch time comes, you can keep those running quarterbacks, and those with the flash. I’ll take Jones.

Thursday

Colorado State at Air Force -5.5: This matchup is sure to make for a Happy Thanksgiving for all. Following a few distractions, head coach Troy Calhoun has his Falcons back on track.

Dual-threat play-caller Haaziq Daniels has made great progress and is certainly the Academy’s quarterback of the future. The No. 1 ground attack in the country (336.5 yards per game on the ground) possesses six ballcarriers, each already having passed the century mark in rushing. They do face a solid run defense here with the Rams, but will no doubt own the time of possession, keep the CSU “D” on the field, and wear them down.

Colorado State has had a difficult time putting points on the board (92nd, 24.0 PPG). Granted they’ve played some tough defenses, but things won’t get any easier here as they line up against college football’s 14th ranked stop-unit (18.3 PPG allowed). This doesn’t bode well as the team has already turned the ball over 15 times.

The Falcons are 5-2 ATS the last seven at home and 7-3 ATS the last 10 as a favorite. AIR FORCE

Saturday

Virginia -9.5 at Florida State: Florida State enters this contest on a three-game SU and ATS slide, losing by 32 to Louisville, 24 to Pitt, and 16 to NC State. The defeat to the Wolfpack two weeks ago put their third quarterback on the shelf this season (check status of Jordan Travis). If Travis (4 TD’s, 5 INT’s) can’t go,Tate Rodemaker (0 TD’s, 3 INT’s) will likely get the start. Perhaps they can give Charlie Ward or Chris Weinke a call (LOL).

Virginia, on the other hand, has rattled off three consecutive victories SU and four straight covers. And unlike their opponent, the Cava1iers are solid at the quarterback slot with Brennan Armstrong (10 TDs/2 INTs). 

The Seminoles are 1-6 ATS the last seven at home, 2-5 ATS the last seven in conference play, and 7-18-1 ATS the last 26 overall. VIRGINIA

Duke pick ’em at Georgia Tech: I have seen this line move a bit in Duke’s direction. That is because they should be a favorite here. The oddsmakers are looking to trap you. We’re not falling for it, folks.

Statistically, the Blue Devils are better on both sides of the ball and have taken five of the last six meetings SU and more importantly, all six ATS. The combination of quarterbacks Chase Brice and Gunnar Holmberg are starting to click, while running back Mataeo Durant (651 yards rushing, 6 TD’s) has barreled for three 100- plus-yard performances over the last four games.

Duke’s ball-hawking “D” (7 takeaways) will get to Georgia Tech’s mistake-prone quarterback Jeff Sims (10 INT’s in only 177 pass attempts this season) and create turnovers.

The Blue Devils are 4-1 ATS the last five at Tech and 9-2 ATS the last 11 following a bye week. DUKE

Maryland at Indiana -11.5: Move over Archie Miller, there’s a new sheriff in town. Tom Allen has his Hoosiers 4-1 and ranked 12th in the nation. After suffering their first defeat of 2020 (6-0 ATS) to Ohio State, Indiana will floor it here against a stale Maryland team that hasn’t played since a Nov. 7 win at winless Penn State.

The other Tagovailoa – Taulia – will come in here rusty and overconfident. He is exciting but does not have the experience to compete in this matchup and is certainly not in the class of his counterpart, Michael Penix Jr. The IU quarterback (1,564 yards passing, 14 TDs/4 INTs) has running back Stevie Scott (373 yards rushing, 5 TD’s) and a quartet of incredible wideouts,  including superstar Ty Fryfogle (642 yards receiving, 7 TD’s).

The Terrapins are awful defensively and will have no answer for the Hoosiers either on the ground or through the air. This is a “D” that got burned for over 43 points by the Wildcats and 44 points by the Golden Gophers. 

This just might be one of the biggest mismatches on the board this week. INDIANA

Last week: 2-2

Season: 22-16

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