Nick Saban is committed to the offensive plan he instituted to start the 2018 season: Play two quarterbacks.
Tua Tagovailoa started the first three games for the No. 1 Crimson Tide and is the betting favorite for the Heisman Trophy in Las Vegas.
Alabama is first in the nation in scoring — 56.7 points per game — and has 14 touchdowns and one field goal in 20 possessions with Tagovailoa at the helm.
For the season, he has completed 36 of 50 passes for 646 yards, throwing eight touchdown passes with no interceptions.
Saban has found time for Jalen Hurts, the displaced starter who was competing for the starting job in camp, but whispers persist that Hurts might opt to transfer from Alabama. He is 19 of 28 for 248 yards and four touchdown passes after going 26-2 as Alabama’s starter the previous two seasons.
“I understand how unique a situation this is,” Saban said in an ESPN interview. “I don’t know of any other precedent at any time in college football where a guy started 28 games, won 26 of them and then somebody took his place. That’s never happened. So that’s hard for Jalen, and it’s hard for me. I’m a loyal guy and loyal to the guys who get out there and lay it on the line for you. You want to be fair to all of your players, but you also want to be fair to your team.
“We needed both quarterbacks last year, and we’ll need them both again this year.”
Hurts is on track to graduate in December. He could decide to transfer without sitting out a year, per NCAA grad transfer rules.
“Every time I’ve talked to Jalen since the season started, he’s said, ‘Coach, I want to play,’ and has never said otherwise,” Saban said. “He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. He’s never asked not to play in a game. He says he’s ready to play and has practiced well and prepared well. Jalen’s a competitor, and the kids on this team respect him. They respect both quarterbacks. And I think it says a lot about both kids that neither one of them has ever said a bad word about the other.”
–Field Level Media