Coach Nick Saban handed the keys of No. 5 Alabama's offense to quarterback Mac Jones this week, and the redshirt sophomore shined in a 66-3 win over Western Carolina -- his first start since the season-ending injury to junior star Tua Tagovailoa. Jones completed 10 of 12 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns before being pulled in place of Tua's brother, true freshman Taulia Tagovailoa, in the third quarter, .
Perhaps more important is the fact that the Crimson Tide offense essentially looked the same with Jones taking the snaps. He hit DeVonta Smith on a 57-yard touchdown on a tunnel screen for the first touchdown of the game, and did the same on a 54-yarder to Jaylen Waddle late in the second quarter. Jones also completed a 12-yard touchdown to running back Najee Harris in the second quarter.
The Crimson Tide took a 38-0 lead into halftime as they prepare for the showdown vs. rival Auburn next week in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
It was Jones' second start of the season. He started in place of an injured Tagovailoa against Arkansas and went 18 of 22 for 235 yards and three touchdowns in a 48-7 win.
Tua Tagovailoa dislocated his right hip in the second quarter vs. Mississippi State last week and underwent surgery two days later in Houston.
After replacing Jones, Taulia Tagovailoa promptly threw his first career touchdown pass, a 15-yard completion to Smith that gave Alabama a 52-0 lead.