Alabama is facing a jolt to its program in the wake of the hip injury to QB Tua Tagovailoa, and the Crimson Tide now turn to backup QB Mac Jones and its running game.

ESPN analyst Barrett Jones said that formula is still good enough to reach the College Football Playoff.

“I think the offense will change, and it’s already been changing over the last few weeks where you’ve seen the run game really get going,” he said on “SEC This Morning.” “Najee Harris has played his best football, in my opinion, over the last few weeks, and the offensive line really has gone from what looked to be a weakness for this team earlier in the year, to now a strength.”

Jones said the offensive line came together during the second half of the LSU game, and reached its “zenith” with how the unit has played this season.


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Jones said there now will be more running and more play-action.

“Mac, he has the advantage that he’s played a game, played at Arkansas and played pretty well,” Jones said. “There’s a lot of people who feel like Alabama’s season is over. I don’t think that’s the case at all. I think they still have a legitimate shot to make the Playoff if things fall their way. I think they’ll be just fine with Mac. I think obviously it’ll make the Auburn-Alabama game a little bit closer. But I think Alabama still has a chance to beat Auburn, and still make the Playoff in my opinion.”