Jalen Hurts’ case to be the Heisman Trophy winner has strengthened with each passing Saturday this fall.
On Saturday, the former Alabama and current Oklahoma quarterback threw for 316 yards and three touchdowns while only recording one incompletion (16-of-17 passing) in a 52-14 victory over West Virginia. He also ran 10 times for 75 yards and two more scores. It marked his third game this season surpassing 300 yards passing, a feat he accomplished just once in three years for Alabama.
Hurts will almost certainly set career-highs for completions (he’s currently at 114), touchdowns (20) and yards (2,074) in a season this year, while his current completion percentage of 74.0 percent would also be his best as a collegian. Furthermore, Hurts is likely to finish with a career-high in rushing yards (currently at 705) and rushing touchdowns (10). He is leading all of college football in raw QBR, with a 96.5 rating, making him a Heisman frontrunner.
But Hurts’ play isn’t simply translating into gaudy stats on paper; it’s translating into impressive wins on the field. The Sooners stand at 7-0, all of their wins coming by at least 16 points with the exception of a seven-point victory over arch-rival Texas. They are No. 5 in the country and are making a strong case to be included in the all-important top four. The College Football Playoff selection committee will choose the top four teams at the end of the season to compete for the national championship.
Regardless of whether he reaches his goals, swapping shades of red seems to have worked out quite well for Hurts.
In a widely publicized series of events, Hurts decided to transfer from Alabama to Oklahoma before the start of this season. Hurts led the Crimson Tide to the National Championship Game during his freshman season, but lost to Clemson. The following year, he led them back to the title game. They trailed Georgia 13-0 at halftime, when he was benched for true freshman Tua Tagovailoa, who led a Tide comeback for a miraculous OT victory.
Tagovailoa kept the starting QB position last year, while Hurts backed him up. After the season ended with another loss to Clemson in the National Championship Game, Hurts graduated with one season of eligibility remaining and decided to transfer to Oklahoma.
In a piece for the Player’s Tribune, Hurts credited his faith in God for giving him the strength to handle his title-game benching with class.
“I understand that God put those obstacles and challenges in my life for a reason,” Hurts said. “He wanted me to feel the pain I felt for a reason. He wanted me to understand the importance of never losing faith — and of always staying true to myself. He had NOT brought me this far just to leave me there.”
In the SEC Championship Game last year, against the very same Georgia Bulldogs, Tagovailoa suffered a leg injury and Hurts was once again back on the field in a critical moment for Alabama’s season. Hurts engineered a comeback of his own to down the Bulldogs once again and propel Alabama to the playoffs.
“I put it in God’s hands,” Hurts said amidst the celebration after the SEC Championship Game.
Hurts is often vocal about his faith on social media. His header photo on Twitter says, “Be who God called you to be,” and has referred to John 13:7 numerous times:
Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand”
– John 13:7
Just let God work his magic 🤗
— Jalen Hurts (@JalenHurts) September 16, 2018
Born For The Storm.. John 13:7 🙏🏾 https://t.co/5SiCZSnmeJ
— Jalen Hurts (@JalenHurts) October 19, 2019
“I know everything will unfold according to God’s timing,” he said in the Player’s Tribune article. “I am blessed to be where my feet are; my trust is in His hands.”
Hurts and the Sooners will go on the road to face Kansas State (4-2) on Saturday at noon ET.
– Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa keeps foundation on faith while breaking records
– Iowa State QB Brock Purdy turns in record-breaking performance, aims to ‘put Him first’
– Auburn true freshman QB Bo Nix praises God after leading comeback win in first start
– Georgia QB Jake Fromm follows God, embraces pressure as he chases elusive title
– NEW PODCAST: Patty Gasso, Oklahoma Sooners Head Softball Coach