Alabama Football: 3 position battles to watch before 2020 season

Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones, Alabama football (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones, Alabama football (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Alabama football
Mac Jones, Alabama football (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

1. Quarterback

It’s been a while since we’ve had a true offseason quarterback battle in Tuscaloosa. Sure, during the Jalen Hurts to Tua Tagovailoa transition, there was a battle in name, but most of the college football world understood that the future Miami Dolphin was going to be the guy.

This time around, the result is not nearly as guaranteed. Mac Jones got playing time at the end of last year, but he didn’t have the national title game-winner that effectively sealed the job for Tua. Instead, Jones was solid in an Iron Bowl loss to Auburn and a Citrus Bowl win over Michigan.

In those two games, Jones went a combined 42-of-64 for 662 yards, seven touchdowns, and two interceptions. Unfortunately for the Tide quarterback, those two turnovers were of the pick-six variety, and they proved to be the difference in that 48-45 loss at Auburn.

On his heels will be true freshman Bryce Young. He’s coming off a year in which he was named the National High School Offensive Player of the Year. In his time at Mater Dei, he compiled some staggering numbers, throwing for a total of 13,250 yards and 152 touchdowns, and adding 1,084 rushing yards and 26 scores on the ground. That’s an insane 178 total touchdowns.

Still, with the excitement that Young brings, it is Jones that has the edge in this battle. With starts earlier in the season, his record came to a combined 3-1 in 2019, and he threw for a total of 1,503 yards and 14 touchdowns, with just those two aforementioned interceptions.

Nick Saban has a history of siding with experience, and considering he doesn’t even let his freshmen talk to the media, it’s likely he’ll put his trust in the more experienced option.