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Alabama Crimson Tide names Mac Jones starting QB for opener

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Alabama's Mac Jones can be excellent this season (2:27)

SEC Now's Matt Stinchcomb shares his confidence in Alabama quarterback Mac Jones and believes he will be successful. (2:27)

Mac Jones will be Alabama's starting quarterback when it opens the season Saturday against Missouri, coach Nick Saban announced Monday.

Jones, a redshirt junior, started four games last season when Tua Tagovailoa was injured. Jones threw for 327 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions during a 35-16 win over Michigan in the Citrus Bowl.

From Oct. 25 on, Jones posted the second-highest QBR (92.7) in the country behind only Joe Burrow, who won the Heisman Trophy and was selected with the first pick in the NFL draft.

"Mac has had a really good camp," Saban said. "Really played well in the last scrimmage. Did a good job of taking the leadership role. I think he's playing with a lot of confidence."

Jones beat out Bryce Young, a former five-star prospect who enrolled early and has drawn positive reviews from coaches and teammates during preseason practice.

Young and Paul Tyson, the great-grandson of legendary former Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, will share the backup duties.

"He's going to be a great quarterback," wideout DeVonta Smith said of Young last month. "With him not having a spring and just coming during the summer, he learns quick. I like what I'm seeing. He's ready."