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#pounditWednesday, July 24, 2024

Nick Saban makes major change ahead of Alabama’s third game

Nick Saban in an Alabama shirt

Sep 11, 2021; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Jalen Milroe did not play well in Alabama’s disappointing loss to Texas last week, and Nick Saban has decided to give one of his other quarterbacks a shot.

Tyler Buchner will start for Alabama in Saturday’s game against South Florida, according to multiple reports. The Notre Dame transfer has taken the majority of first-team reps in practice this week, so the change is not a surprise.

Milroe, a redshirt sophomore, was 14/27 for 255 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions in Alabama’s 34-24 loss to Texas. He rushed for an additional 44 yards. He played much better in the Crimson Tide’s blowout win over Middle Tennessee State in Week 1, but that was obviously against far worse competition.

Saban admitted after the Texas game that he considered making a change at quarterback. The coach also said coming into the season that Alabama’s quarterback competition had not been settled, meaning Milroe had to play well to keep the job.

Buchner should give the Tide more big-play potential. The sophomore had limited experience at Notre Dame after he suffered a shoulder injury in the second game of the year last year, but he returned to lead the Fighting Irish to a win over South Carolina in the Gator Bowl. Though he threw three interceptions, Buchner also accounted for five touchdowns in the game.

Alabama is more than a four-touchdown favorite against USF, so Buchner should have an opportunity to build up some confidence right out of the gate.

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