Alabama fans tuned in Saturday night to Alabama's game with USC expecting to see some combination of Blake Barnett and Cooper Bateman lining up at quarterback for the Crimson Tide. That was what Nick Saban made it seem like the Tide were going to do, but so much for that. On the third possession of the game for Bama it was Jalen Hurts who came in to relieve starter Blake Barnett and Hurts never gave the position back until the game was well in hand and he had scored four touchdowns.
After the game Saban clarified the Tide's QB game plan stating that it "was always the plan" to put Hurts in for the third possession of the game.
"We had a special plan for him and he practiced his plays all week long and would go in the third series no matter what, and that's exactly what we did" Saban told the press. "Y'all never asked. I wouldn't have told you if you would have asked, but you didn't ask."
"We think both guys are talented, and we wanted both guys to play in the game," Saban said of Barnett, a redshirt freshman, and Hurts. "And when the first quarter was over, I was wondering to myself, 'Was this a good plan or a bad plan?' Both guys were a little shaky in the beginning. But I think Jalen, each series that he played, got more and more comfortable. He adds a dimension with his athleticism and ability to run that I think is very effective. ... I thought he settled in and did a nice job."
Don't be convinced however that the job belongs to Hurts going forward, Saban nipped that in the bud as well.
"I made a decision for this game that whatever we did at quarterback was for now," Saban said. "Did you ever make a for now decision? So we made a decision today for now. That's the only decision we made. So I'm not speculating on what we're going to do in the future."
"Everybody here wanted to know who the quarterback was going to be. But did anybody write that one of Southern Cal's players said, 'I wish we knew who was going to play quarterback for them? 'Isn't that the object? To make it hard for the other team? Or to make it good for you guys to write about? I'm wondering. I don't know. It's one of those hypothetical questions you ask me."
Saban will undoubtedly use next week's game against Western Kentucky to further get a feel for the QB position and hopefully all is decided before the Tide face off against Ole Miss.
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