TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA - SEPTEMBER 09: Jalen Milroe #4 of the Alabama Crimson Tide walks off the field after losing to the Texas Longhorns 34-24 at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 09, 2023 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Alabama Benching Jalen Milroe, Promoting New Starting QB vs South Florida

The Alabama Crimson Tide are benching Jalen Milroe in favor of backup quarterback Tyler Buchner for their Week 3 matchup against USF.

If you watched Alabama's game against Texas and thought that something needed to change for Jalen Milroe the Crimson Tide, you weren't alone. It turns out that even Nick Saban himself agrees with you, as it looks like Alabama will be shifting to Notre Dame transfer Tyler Buchner going forward, per John Talty.

Saban and his crew had high hopes for Milroe after a solid performance in a comfortable season-opening win over Middle Tennessee, but he wasn't effective at all in a home loss to Texas. Milroe barely completed half of his passes, threw two interceptions, and badly missed some very important throws as he was completely outclassed by Texas QB Quinn Ewers.

If this seems like an abrupt shift, it's because drastic times call for drastic measures; this is Alabama's first time starting out with a 1-1 record since the 2003 season, several years before the start of Saban's tenure in Tuscaloosa. Their margin for error going forward has shrunk considerably, and their path to the College Football Playoff is cloudier than it's almost ever been.

Buchner is a redshirt sophomore who spent his first two seasons at Notre Dame, where he threw a total of 118 passes. His freshman year appearances were mostly very quick relief stints at the end of games, but he played three full contests last season, including an up-and-down performance in a Gator Bowl win over South Carolina.

He was a highly touted high school prospect out of Southern California, given four stars and a grade of 95 by 247, making him the tenth-rated quarterback in his class. He hasn't shown that upside yet in college, but there's arguably no place better than Alabama under Saban to hone your craft and reach your potential.

With high expectations to reach, Buchner will look to thread the needle and navigate a tough SEC West schedule. Luckily enough, his first start will be against the University of South Florida, which should be a good chance to settle in before getting into the thick of competition. This great opportunity to transition against a non-SEC opponent could be a reason Saban opted to make a shift as early as he did; if he waited much longer, Buchner's first start could have been against the likes of Ole Miss, Texas A&M, or Tennessee.

MORE: Jalen Milroe Sets Alabama Record in First Start