Analysis: Big plays from Williams are vital to Alabama’s offensive success


Lexi Hall

Wide receiver Jameson Williams tiptoes down the sideline on a big play against New Mexico State on Saturday.

Blake Byler, Contributing Writer

Throughout this season, Alabama football has struggled to find guys to make big plays. 

But Ohio State transfer Jameson Williams has been consistent as the primary explosive playmaker in Alabama’s offense.

“Jameson is exactly what we looked for in the offseason,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. 

It’s no secret that the 2021 Crimson Tide offense has missed the firepower that fans came to expect under offensive coordinators Mike Locksley and Steve Sarkisian.

Alabama has produced two first-round quarterbacks and four first-round wide receivers in the last two years. This season, Alabama does not have the luxury of four-wide sets where every receiver could take a screen pass to the house.

In Saturday’s 59-3 win over New Mexico State, Alabama produced six explosive passing plays, defined as plays of 20 or more yards. 

Williams was responsible for three of them. 

The 6-foot-2 wide receiver had a career game in the first half alone, scoring three touchdowns. Williams stepped out of bounds on a potential fourth touchdown. He finished the game with six catches for 158 yards and three touchdowns.

On the season, Williams has racked up 51 catches for 1,028 yards and 10 touchdowns, on pace to become one of the better Alabama receiving seasons in recent memory.

This is no surprise. 

Williams has at least one catch of 50 or more yards in six out of nine games against FBS opponents. In those games, Alabama averaged 47.8 points per game.

Williams’ deep threat ability and game-breaking speed open up Alabama’s offense tremendously. When quarterback Bryce Young is able to find Williams behind the defense, Alabama looks more like the offensive powerhouse fans have become accustomed to.

Young’s accuracy on deep balls to Williams has improved throughout the season. Their connection will be of utmost importance as Alabama approaches possibly the toughest stretch of its schedule. Alabama’s final two regular season games are against No. 25 Arkansas, No. 17 Auburn and possibly No. 1 Georgia.

If Alabama wants to knock off Georgia and make its seventh College Football Playoff in eight years, offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien will need to keep dialing up explosive plays for Williams.