When No. 1 Alabama hosts Arkansas on Saturday, it will be trotting out a backup quarterback behind center. This isn't Jalen Hurts or Tua Tagovailoa masquerading in backup a quarterback costume like we've seen the past couple of years. This is Mac Jones, an actual backup quarterback with actual limitations.

As Tagovailoa focuses on his rehabilitation in order to return to the field as soon as possible from a lower-leg injury, Alabama will have to rely on a redshirt sophomore backup to lead it to victory and keep it in the College Football Playoff race. Does Jones have the ability to get that done -- not only against Arkansas but perhaps additional games going forward if Tagovailoa's rehab his a snag?

Here's what you need to know about the Crimson Tide's backup signal caller.

Who is Mac Jones? Jones played his high school football at The Bolles School, a traditional powerhouse out of Jacksonville, Florida, and committed to Kentucky prior to his junior season. That pledge looked like a big win for the Wildcats after Jones put together a strong junior year and then started to excel during the spring and summer camp season. Those performances attracted the attention of Alabama, and he landed an offer in April before his senior year. Two months later Jones flipped his commitment to Alabama, a month after the Tide had landed another more highly-touted passer in Tagovailoa.

Jones had played alongside Tagovailoa at the Elite 11 Finals, knew how good Tagovailoa would be and chose to commit to Alabama anyway as a second quarterback in the recruiting class. Whether that was an indication of his competitive nature or just a ticket to at least three years of backup work, Jones never seriously wavered in his pledge even as Tagovailoa's profile rose steadily.

What kind of player is Jones? As it relates to his physical traits, Jones is average. He was a 4.9 guy in the 40-yard dash coming out of high school. He's got enough size, movement skills and arm strength to get the job done but nothing extra or special. He's an accurate thrower but not a guy that is going to scare defenders downfield.

What we don't know is how Jones has grown as a quarterback at Alabama. In high school, he played in an old-school run-heavy system that didn't necessarily ask him to see the full field and throw it around the yard. He's been no better than a third-string quarterback prior to this season, which means primarily scout team reps. But the expectation is that Jones can get you what the offense schemes up. Perhaps nothing more but probably nothing less, either. Alabama has won with bus drivers at quarterback before. Jones may be the next in line.

If you're hoping for encouragement, look to the Alabama spring game in 2018. With Tagovailoa out due to injury, the stage was set for Jalen Hurts to take the lead in the quarterback race prior to the 2018 season. Hurts finished 19 of 37 for 195 yards, no touchdowns and one interception, while Jones showed poise moving the ball down the field to the tune of 23 of 35, 289 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Jones was more accurate than Tagovailoa in the A-Day game a year later, too, completing 19 of 23 for 271 yards, two touchdowns and an interception to Tua's 19 of 37 for 265, one touchdown and one interception.

Is Jones the only option? No. There's another guy on the roster named Tagovailoa that is a pretty good player. That's true freshman Taulia Tagovailoa, the younger brother to Tua and a guy that threw for 3,728 yards and 35 touchdowns as a senior last fall. Taulia enrolled early in January and took part in spring practice. He even had some flash moments in Alabama's spring game, going 6 of 9 for 93 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

In Taulia, think of a right-handed Tua with a little less athleticism and a lot less horsepower but some of the same instincts, innate feel and intangibles that makes Tua so special. Taulia probably tops Jones in some of those instinctual categories under center, but he's still a freshman. And he's not a freshman with the kind of unbridled arm talent or athleticism that would trump the experience that Jones brings to the position.

Will Alabama beat Arkansas with Jones? Yes. Keep in mind that while Jones may not look like what we've grown accustomed to at Alabama, he's still likely better than the quarterbacks that Arkansas has on its roster. Alabama's overwhelming talent on offense and its ability to stifle whatever combination of Ben Hicks and Nick Starkel we see under center for Arkansas means that Jones is fully equipped to engineer a typical Alabama blowout.

Would Alabama beat LSU with Jones? No. Prior Alabama teams may have been equipped to beat this LSU team with Jones. This Alabama team may be able to beat prior LSU teams with Jones. But this iteration of both makes Tagovailoa's presence critical in the Nov. 9 showdown.

Eight of the last 10 years, Alabama has finished in the top five in defensive yards allowed per game, and it has finished No. 1 four of those years. This year, Alabama's defense is 26th in the same category. Conversely, LSU hasn't finished better than 35th in the country in yards per game over the last 10 years, finishing at No. 70 on average. This year's team is ranked third in the same category. Beating LSU is going to mean scoring points this year, and as long as Joe Burrow is under center for the Tigers, Tua will need to be there, too.

Is this a preview of Alabama in 2020? Probably not. Jones is Alabama's best non-Tua option under center this fall, but I don't expect that to be the case next fall. We could see Taulia develop within the program to the point where he's ready to jump Jones as a redshirt freshman starter, but more likely, next year's starter isn't on campus. Bryce Young, a five-star prospect out of California, recently decommitted from USC to commit to Alabama, and he is having a generational kind of season for national power Mater Dei. So, if Jones does struggle in his limited action this fall, temper your optimism for the future. Young is special and further advanced than Tua was at the same stage. He arrives in January as an early enrollee and will make an immediate impact.