Back Mac Jones Sets Records, Adds to Legacy

Mac Jones Sets Records, Adds to Legacy

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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It was a signature showcase for Jones, one of the best title game performances ever.

In a year where he set a new single season passer rating record for college football, Mac Jones saved the best game of his career for last. In a near-perfect performance against Ohio State in the College Football Playoff Final, Jones completed 36-of-45 passes for 464 yards and five touchdowns, helping lead Alabama to 52 total points, 621 total yards and an 18th national championship. It was a signature showcase for Jones, one of the best title game performances ever.

The 464 passing yards, for Jones, were the most ever in a national championship game, one more yard than Joe Burrow's 463 for LSU against a Clemson a year ago. It was a fitting grand finale on a night where Jones also broke Burrow's passing rating record. Jones also completed a perfect, undefeated season.

Alabama, with Jones and DeVonta Smith, set the tone early on Monday night. Jones was 25-of-30 for 342 yards and four touchdowns in the first half, with 215 yards and three touchdowns going to the incomparable Heisman Trophy winner. The Jones-Smith connection proved true twice over the final 3:19 of the first half, a stretch where the Crimson Tide started to pull away. Over the first two quarters alone, Jones had recorded one of the best games by a quarterback on college football's biggest stage.

Smith was absolutely unstoppable and Jones went right to him time and time again. Jones was also proficient in throwing to John Metchie III, who caught eight passes for 81 yards, and Najee Harris, who caught seven passes for 79 yards and a touchdown. Perhaps Jones' best throw of the night came on the 26-yard score to Harris as he faked a hand off, turned into a blitzing defender and lofted the pass in stride to his running back for the touchdown. If you take away Smith's production, Jones still threw for 249 yards and two scores.

Relatively quietly, Jones just had college football's most prodicient season ever. He finishes the year with 4,500 yards, 41 touchdowns compared to just five interceptions, over 77% completions, over eleven yards per pass attempt, 13 wins and zero losses. Against Florida, Notre Dame and Ohio State to end the season, Jones completed 80% of his passes for 1,179 yards, 14 touchdowns and one interception. His already-impressive play got better as the pressure mounted.

Given all that Alabama just accomplished, history may need some time to sort it all out. Was this the Crimson Tide's best team ever? Their best offense? In addition to Smith, Harris and a generationally great offensive line, Jones has earned some all-time consideration, too. Like many alongside, he was at his best against the best. Monday night was the ultimate example.

In game where he secured a new single season passer rating record for college football, Jones claimed a national championship record and a ring as well. In a season where he was one of college football's best, the national championship game came with more of the same. 

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports