Jalen Hurts hasn’t had an ordinary season for a freshman quarterback.
In Alabama’s 35-31 loss to Clemson in the College Football Playoff national championship game, Hurts set the new single-season school record for touchdown responsibility.
Hurts had two total touchdowns to break the record. Former quarterback Blake Sims held the previous mark of 35 (28 passing, 7 rushing) in 2014.
Entering the game, Hurts had 34 total touchdowns.
For the season, Hurts threw for 2,780 yards and 23 touchdowns to nine interceptions. He also rushed for 954 yards and 13 scores on 191 attempts.
Hurts broke the record on a go-ahead 30-yard touchdown run with 2:01 left in the fourth quarter. He tied it on 68-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end O.J. Howard in the third quarter.
Touchdown responsibility includes any touchdown scored firsthand or by way of passing.
Hurts needed 15 games to break the record. Sims set the mark in 14 games.
For the game, Hurts went 13 of 31 for 131 yards and one touchdown through the air and had 10 rushes for 63 yards and one score.
Hurts also came within 103 yards of tying Alabama’s single-season total offense record also set by Sims in 2014. For the season, Hurts had 3,734 yards (2,780 passing, 954 rushing), which is second only to Sims’ mark of 3,837 (3,487 passing, 350 rushing).
If Hurts starts the next two to three seasons for Alabama, he likely will shatter the school’s career touchdown responsibility (80; 77 passing, 3 rushing) and total offense records (8,969), both of which are held by former quarterback AJ McCarron (2010-13).
Earlier this season, Hurts also set a few other Alabama records.
Hurts also tied the school’s single-game touchdown responsibility record of five against Mississippi State, when he had four passing scores and one rushing. In the same game, he had 447 yards of total offense (347 passing, 100 rushing), which was third most in school history behind Sims’ 484 yards (445 passing, 39 rushing) against Florida in 2014 and Scott Hunter’s 457 (484 passing, -27 rushing) against Auburn in 1969.
One week later against Chattanooga, Hurts broke Alabama’s single-season quarterback rushing record of 791 previously set by Steadman Shealy in 1979.
With the victory, Hurts would have become just the second true freshman quarterback starter in college football history to win a national championship. Oklahoma’s Jamelle Holieway did it in 1985.
Had Alabama won, it would have been its fifth national championship in eight seasons.
(You can follow Kevin Connell on Twitter @_KevinConnell)
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