Matt believes that Smash does not care for the team now that he is a senior and only cares for himself and his college prospects.
The two get into a fight after the first game of the season and continue fighting until Coach Taylor, back from his stint at TMU, benches them until they can get their act together.
Crushed by Jason's injury, the town and team pressure Coach Taylor to find a new quarterback, because no one (besides Coach) believes Matt can get the job done.
That changes when Jason suffers a career-ending injury, forcing Matt into the starting quarterback position.
Matt is the son of Henry Saracen and Shelby Garrett, and lives alone with his grandmother, Lorraine Saracen.
Matt takes care of Lorraine due to her old age and battle with dementia.
In the state championship game, Saracen passes for 283 yards and 2 touchdowns in leading the Panthers to a 27-26 epic comeback victory over West Cambria High School.
Matt also begins a relationship with Coach Taylor's daughter, Julie.