Sophomore quarterback Mac Jones passed for 235 yards and three touchdowns in his first collegiate start as No. 1 Alabama routed Arkansas 48-7 in an SEC West matchup Saturday night in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Jones completed his first five attempts, although the first two were merely flips to receivers Jerry Jeudy and DeVonta Smith, on his way to an 18-of-22 outing in place of injured Heisman candidate Tua Tagovailoa, who watched from the sidelines.
Tua’s younger brother, freshman Taulia Tagovailoa, finished the game, completing 6 of 8 passes for 45 yards.
Running back Najee Harris rushed for 86 yards and two touchdowns as the Crimson Tide (8-0, 5-0 SEC) posted their 31st consecutive home win and their 89th consecutive victory over a non-ranked opponent.
The Razorbacks (2-6, 0-5) lost for the 13th consecutive time to Alabama and dropped their 16th straight SEC game.
Their only score came eight seconds into the fourth quarter when freshman John Stephen Jones tossed an 8-yard pass to tight end Cheyenne O’Grady to cap an 85-yard drive after taking over for starting quarterback Nick Starkel in the second half. Starkel was 5 of 19 for 58 yards and three interceptions.
The Tide put the game out of reach early, taking advantage of four Arkansas turnovers to build their largest halftime advantage of the season at 41-0.
Cornerback Trevon Diggs, who had a 100-yard fumble return a week earlier, ran back an interception 84 yards for a touchdown after earlier picks by linebacker Anfernee Jennings and cornerback Patrick Surtain II led to 10 Bama points.
Many of Jones’ passes were short tosses that Alabama’s talented receiving corps turned into big plays, but he ended the first drive of the second half with a long 40-yard strike to Jeudy in the end zone. It was Jeudy’s second touchdown reception of the game, giving him 24 for his career, second all-time at Alabama to Amari Cooper’s 31.
Jeudy finished with seven catches for 103 yards.
—Field Level Media