Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback AJ McCarron had a stellar performance in Saturday's 49-0 blowout win over Chattanooga at Tuscaloosa's Bryant-Denny Stadium, helping along his 2013 Heisman Trophy campaign.
The senior signal-caller completed 13 of his 16 passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns, and even though he's not known for his mobility, McCarron even sprinkled in a 15-yard run. It's that type of efficiency in operating the undefeated Tide's offense that makes him worthy of Heisman consideration.
The NCAA's official football Twitter page highlighted the fact that McCarron became the winningest quarterback in Alabama history with his 36th victory:
As for his performance, Saturday marked the sixth time in seven starts that McCarron did not throw an interception. He also displayed touch and velocity on his touchdown throws that should have NFL draft scouts taking notice.
McCarron rifled a 28-yard scoring strike to Kevin Norwood down the middle of the field, putting the Tide up 28-0 with just over two minutes before halftime.
A 38-yard touchdown to wide receiver Amari Cooper on a deep post saw McCarron put the ball in a great location where only Cooper could get it.
As Alex Scarborough of ESPN.com pointed out, it was the final pass he would throw at home:
AJ McCarron's final pass in Bryant-Denny Stadium goes down as a 38-yard touchdown pass to Amari Cooper. Probably.— Alex Scarborough (@AlexS_ESPN) November 23, 2013
Aaron Suttles of TideSports.com noted the chain of events that led to McCarron completing a pass to his brother, Corey, on his penultimate pass on senior day:
Saban said he told Nussmeier to call a play so AJ McCarron could throw a pass to his brother.— Aaron Suttles (@AaronSuttles) November 23, 2013
Will AJ McCarron be a Heisman finalist?
What a way for the national championship winner to go out in front of the home crowd.
Although it was against an outmatched opponent from the Southern Conference, McCarron did nothing to dismiss notions that he is a champion and that he is a deserving Hesiman candidate.
He isn't the dual-threat quarterback some of his peers, such as Oregon's Marcus Mariota or Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, are, though. And the fact that McCarron has a stellar running game and an excellent defense to complement him also hurts his Heisman candidacy.
It is unlikely he will manage more than an invitation as a finalist for the award ceremony in New York City, but he is almost certain to play in the BCS National Championship Game for the third year in a row.