The long offseason agony for Alabama football fans is over. Well, maybe it is just sort of over. As reported by Chris Low on Friday, Jalen Milroe will start at quarterback against Middle Tennessee State. With Cecil Hurt no longer with us, Low is probably the most connected person about Alabama football.
Nick Saban and Tommy Rees going with the third-year quarterback is no surprise. Milroe has led the quarterback group in practice drills throughout the spring and fall camp. Alabama football insiders frequently comment on how much Milroe is liked and respected by his teammates.
Several days ago, quarterback teacher, Brad Stanfield, who worked with Milroe going back to the 7th grade, provided in-depth knowledge of the Tide’s QB1. Stanfield clearly believes Milroe’s ceiling is so high, that only lack of game experience holds him back.
While Milroe gets that experience, Nick Saban has a plan to develop other Alabama quarterbacks. Saban has been clear the QB1 job will have to be earned again on Saturday night and in the Texas practices that will follow. Saban wants at least three of Alabama’s quarterbacks to play against Middle Tennessee. Taking about the Crimson Tide’s top four quarterbacks, Saban said this week,
"I think all the quarterbacks have made significant improvement."
Significant is relative to how much each one needed (and needs) to improve to play winning football at a championship level. What each of the Tide’s QBs, beginning with Jalen Milroe, must do is in game situations, show their teammates they can be trusted. Nick Saban expects that of every Crimson Tide player, but the quarterbacks have a necessary and essential added burden.
What Bryce Young and other great Alabama football quarterbacks have been able to do is instill belief. A belief not just articulated to teammates, but felt by entire offensive units when facing the toughest opponents in the most demanding situations.
Alabama Football should not need a replaced dose of Bryce Young magic in the 2023 season. Competent quarterback play should be enough, as long as it is part of a solid core confidence offensive players share.
Alabama Football QB Play vs. MTSU
The offensive game plan will be interesting. MTSU should have difficulty stopping the Crimson Tide rushing attack. To beat the Blue Raiders, no Alabama football quarterback should have to dazzle. In fact, showing too much of the Tide’s Tommy Rees-tweaked offense would foolishly give Steve Sarkisian and Texas too much information.
The key for Alabama quarterbacks Saturday night should be ball security and not making mental errors. A more complete test is another Saturday night away.