Jalen Hurts got to hand off the reins early to his backup.
No. 1 Alabama's quarterback got off to a perfect 7-of-7 passing start with 180 yards and three touchdowns against Mercer, an FCS team. That included a 66-yarder to a wide open Calvin Ridley, who was able to wait for the ball for a moment and still score.
Then Hurts headed to the sidelines with a 28-0 lead and 11:51 left _ in the second quarter.
Jalen Hurts: 7-7, 180 Pass YDs, 30 Rush YDs, 3 TD
There’s still 12 minutes to play in the 2nd quarter… pic.twitter.com/hB79Toy4Rj
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) November 18, 2017
Three plays later, highly touted freshman Tua Tagovailoa also got the Crimson Tide into the end zone with a 4-yard touchdown pass to tight end Hale Hentges.
So half of 'Bama's first eight passes went for touchdowns, and none fell incomplete.
The game is a tuneup for next Saturday's showdown with No. 6 Auburn. The winner goes to the Southeastern Conference championship game against No. 7 Georiga.
Mercer drove into Alabama territory on each of its first two possessions but wound up with a missed field goal and a punt.