NEW ORLEANS – Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts has received a lot of criticism nationally and from his own fans mostly due to a lackluster performance at Auburn in which he finished 11-22 for just 112 yards in the Tide’s lone loss.
Despite struggling to throw the ball at times in 2017 the sophomore is 26-2 as a starter and has thrown only one interception on the season.
In the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game Hurts played an excellent game and nearly led the Crimson Tide to victory with the go-ahead touchdown with two minutes to play before Clemson won on the final play.
Hurts is gearing up to face one of the best defenses in the country in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day but thinks if the Tide execute their game plan Clemson’s defense cannot affect his offense.
Clemson’s defense, stacked with future NFL talent in Christian Wilkins, Austin Bryant, Dexter Lawrence and Clelin Ferrell, brought chaos to opponents in 2017. It held the opposition to 12.8 points per game, second in the country behind Alabama.
Hurts gives Clemson credit for what they have done thus far in the 2017 campaign.
“I think they have a lot of speed and a lot of strength and a lot of length. They’re all capable of making plays,” said Hurts at Sugar Bowl Media Day in the Superdome Saturday morning.
The Tiger defense harassed opposing quarterbacks all season, ranking third in FBS for sacks per game with 3.4 and ninth in the country in tackles-for-loss per game averaging eight per game.
However, Hurts thinks if his team plays at its best Clemson’s defensive prowess will be neutralized.
“They wreak havoc for the quarterback when you don’t do what you’re supposed to do offensively,” said Hurts. “So, I think we have to execute and do really good up front,” he said.
Hurts and the Crimson Tide get their shot at the Clemson defensive front Monday night in the College Football Playoff Semifinal.