Saban mum on QB1 after Bama has a hard time vs

  • Alex Scarborough, ESPN

    • Personnel WriterSep 16, 2023, 08:45 PM ET Close Covers the SEC.Joined ESPN
    • in 2012.
    • Graduate of Auburn University.Alabama’s quarterback competitors took another sour turn during a 17-3 win on the road against South Florida on Saturday.Jalen Milroe, the Crimson Tide’s starter through the first 2 games of the season, was benched after throwing 2 interceptions in a house loss to Texas last week, and he didn’t take a snap in Tampa.Tyler Buchner, who moved from Notre Dame following spring practice, got the start versus the Bulls and struggled, completing simply 5 of 14 pass efforts for 34 backyards, no touchdowns and no interceptions prior to he was pulled.Redshirt freshman Ty Simpson began in relief of Buchner and played the rest of the contest, going 5-of-9

    for 73 backyards. Simpson scored on a 1-yard run, however he was sacked 5 times.Editor’s Picks After the game, Alabama coach Nick Saban attempted to preempt concerns about the position.

    “I know you’re going to ask about the quarterbacks,” he told reporters. “We’re going to examine the quarterbacks that played today and evaluate Jalen Milroe in regards to how he played and decide today who gives us the very best chance to be successful as an offensive team. And that’s the method we’ll go.”

    Pressed for more details about what went into the decision to play Buchner and Simpson, Saban said it was an “internal” decision.

    “Everyone has the chance to respond in properly when things do not go like you want them to,” Saban added. “And we play the guys that practice the best all week long.”

    Saban told ESPN during the game that Simpson, a former four-star possibility, had the best week of practice.

    “I thought he did OK,” Saban said of Simpson’s performance against USF. “Made a couple actually great tosses. Missed out on a couple big-play throws. … I thought he played well, managed the game well.”

    Saban stated it wasn’t Simpson’s fault he was under so much pressure from the defense. The coach was asked about the play of the offending line and responded with a concern of his own: “The number of sacks did they have today?”

    The answer: five.

    “Based upon that, I wouldn’t assess it extremely well,” Saban said. “A few of them were mental mistakes. We knew they were going to pressure a lot. They got an actually excellent pressure package. We ruined the protections a number of times. We got beat a couple times.

    “So we require to get that repaired, since that’s been an area that has been a constant problem for all of us year– last week with the sacks, this week with the sacks. And those are drive killers, and we got to get rid of that.”

    Despite the offending battles, Saban tried to strike a positive tone. He stated he took pride in the way the group competed during a hard-fought away game that featured an hourlong lightning hold-up. He noted there was misfortune, consisting of starting guard Tyler Booker being sidelined by back spasms, however that he liked the method his players “kept responding to the bell.”

    “We didn’t execute terrific, so I don’t feel good about that,” Saban stated. “However the method we contended in the game, I thought, was exceptional.”

    Alabama (2-1) will open SEC dip into home versus Ole Miss next Saturday.

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