Alabama Football: Epic Decision Needed After Tide’s Spring Game


Alabama football head coach Nick Saban has a monumental ruling on his hands after Saturday’s annual spring game.  The weight of his solution could shift the Tide’s momentum heading into the season opener against Louisville.

Spring Game Recap

The early Saturday morning chill in Tuscaloosa turned into a perfect afternoon for Alabama football. With Alabama head coach Nick Saban and ESPN announcers, Kirk Herbstreit and Joey Galloway looking snazzy on the field, the entertained crowd of 74,000 plus were treated to a slugfest between incumbent starter Jalen Hurts and……Mac Jones.

As whispers mounted of Hurts transferring if he did not win the starting job, the spotlight was scorching hot with competitor Tua Tagovailoa ruled out for the game. Regrettably, Hurts disappointed.

The stagnant offense that appeared last season against a formidable defense reappeared. The junior quarterback only looked for his first option. If the play is not there, Hurts bails and takes off with the ball or runs towards the sideline to chuck the ball away. Hurts finished with 195 yards passing on 19 completions. Overall, he was sacked seven times and threw one interception.

On the flip side, sophomore Mac Jones was brilliant leading the Crimson team to a 24-12 victory. He was 23 for 35 for 289 yards and two scores and one pick to corner Jared Mayden. Jones was the antithesis of Hurts. He went through all his progressions. Additionally, Jones completed passes down the field with a 46-yard pass to senior receiver Xavian Marks.

As we have learned, you cannot take too much from a spring game. Notably, the defense is well ahead of the offense. Further, playcalling on both sides are incredibly vanilla.

Understandably, Jalen was facing the Tide’s first-string defense while his counterpart was facing the second string. Nick should have flopped the quarterbacks at halftime to shake things up.

Stout Defensive Effort

However, the 2018 defense appeared to be in midseason form. The pass rushers came in waves with linemen Quinnen Williams, LaBryan Ray, Raekwon Davis and Isaiah Buggs. Standout linebacker Dylan Moses had ten tackles with his partner, Mack Wilson chipping in with seven.  Outside linebacker Anfernee Jennings suited up but did not play. In the long run, Terrell Lewis, Christian Miller, Christopher Allen and Jennings will be a disrupting force in the fall.

Finally, the secondary held its own in the passing game. Fans should be excited about Shyheim Carter, Saivion Smith, and Trevon Diggs. In essence, there appeared to be little drop off although the Tide lost a majority of their experience from last season.

The Crimson Tide appears set at kicker with redshirt freshman Joseph Bulovas.  He made 5 of 7 field goals with a long of 49 yards.  Fans in the stands prayed every time Bulovas kicked.  Even though he was money today, they want to know can he nail a game-winner in January.  Ordinarily, time will tell.

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Decisions, Decisions

Coach Saban has to make a decision that ordinary people could not handle.

The sheer possibility of starting Jalen Hurts would create seismic waves of epic proportions throughout the state of Alabama.

On the other hand, the most talented quarterback to set foot on campus during his tenure could pack his bags and head elsewhere plus take his newly committed talented brother with him.

Saban will resolve the competition methodically. Afterward, he will proceed with what is best for the Alabama organization, not the fans.

Next: 'Bama Cuts' is another piece in The Process

What’s next for Alabama football fans? Bama Hammer will focus attention on recruiting and the NFL Draft in the coming week.