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Nick Saban Gives Update On Alabama Quarterback Battle

Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban spreaks with members of the media during the Discover BCS National Championship.

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - JANUARY 06: Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban spreaks with members of the media during the Discover BCS National Championship Head Coaches Press Conference on January 6, 2013 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Nick Saban has a big decision to make this season. Two big-time quarterbacks are competing for the starting gig. Tua Tagovailoa was considered the favorite by many, before he was injured during spring practice. That obviously gave Hurts a big edge in snaps until Tagovailoa returned to practice recently.

Tagovailoa led Alabama to a comeback win in the national championship against Georgia. He replaced Hurts, the starter, who was quiet in the first half of the game. It is impossible to discount Hurts's experience though. He has started the majority of the last two seasons, which both resulted in trips to the national championship.

The situation is a good problem to have. Most coaches would love to have two quarterbacks like Tagovailoa and Hurts.

Still, it makes for a sticky situation. The loser of the QB battle could very well transfer.

Saban hasn't committed to naming a starter at any specific time. There's a good chance the battle lasts into the season, the way it did two seasons ago.

That year, Blake Barnett started Alabama's season opener against USC. Hurts took over mid-game and looked like the better player. He wound up starting the rest of the season, and the entire 2017 slate. Barnett transferred at mid-season.

Nick Saban was asked about a 'time frame' for naming a starting quarterback between Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts, and was pretty dismissive towards the question.


The quarterback competition between Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts will be resolved on Nick Saban's terms -- not anyone else's. The Alabama coach made that clear Saturday when he was asked whether the injury to Tagovailoa's left hand could delay Saban's final decision.

"First of all, I don't have a time frame," Saban said with a look of annoyance. "So how could it affect it? You have a time frame. I don't. So from your perspective, maybe I should ask you the question. From my perspective, if there is no time frame, how does it affect it? I can't answer that. But I don't think any time a player gets hurt at any position that he should be penalized for that."

Both quarterbacks played in Alabama's scrimmage on Saturday, with Tagovailoa taking 15-20 snaps, according to the report. It certainly seems like Saban plans to gather as much information as possible before naming a starter, and if he's being honest, wouldn't mind avoided a transfer.