It was Josh Jacobs versus one of Mississippi State’s best players, a one-on-one showdown along the sideline and just in front of the end zone.
Jacobs didn’t step out of bounds.
He didn’t juke.
And he didn’t slow down.
Alabama’s junior running back ran right through one of the SEC’s most physical defensive backs, Mark McLaurin, winning a loud collision that ended with McLaurin lying face-first on the ground.
“Honestly, they were talking a lot during the game and he, I didn’t hear from him no more after that,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs continues to establish himself as one of the top playmakers for the Crimson Tide.
During Alabama’s win over Mississippi State on Saturday, the 5-foot-10, 215-pound Jacobs had a career-high 20 carries, scored two touchdowns and showed that he’s not just fast and shifty.
He’s physical too, as that Mississippi State safety can attest to.
“Josh was a demon running it on a couple of those runs,” Tide coach Nick Saban said. “I was really impressed with the way he played.”
Working in conjunction with Damien Harris and Najee Harris at running back for Alabama, Jacobs is tied for third in the SEC with 11 total touchdowns — nine rushing, one receiving and one on a kick return.
Jacobs has scored at least one touchdown in seven of the Tide’s 10 games, including four touchdowns over the last three games.
As talented as Alabama’s other running backs are, there are at least some in the program that think Jacobs is the best running back on the team.
He’s that good.
He’s an all-around playmaker who’s fast, elusive, versatile and — in Saban terms — will run like a demon sometimes too.
“He’s an X-factor on our team,” tight end Irv Smith said. “… It’s just awesome to see the things he’s doing out there.”
Matt Zenitz is an Alabama and Auburn reporter for the Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @mzenitz.