Tua Tagovailoa to Remain Alabama Starter vs. Arkansas State over Jalen Hurts

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistSeptember 3, 2018

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (13) scrambles while looking for a receiver against Louisville during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
John Raoux/Associated Press

Nick Saban wasn't ready to discuss his quarterback situation following Saturday's win over Louisville.

Now he is, and his starter is Tua Tagovailoa.

"Everyone knows that Tua is going to start and we're going to use Jalen's skill set in the future," Saban told reporters Monday.

The news will come as a surprise to exactly no one. Tagovailoa started over Jalen Hurts in Week 1 and got the vast majority of the snaps, throwing for 227 yards and two touchdowns while adding 26 yards and a score on the ground. Hurts racked up 70 passing yards in the 51-14 blowout.

Saban had a contentious conversation with ESPN sideline reporter Maria Taylor following the game. Taylor asked about the quarterback situation as Saban came off the field, prompting a frustrated response. 

"Well, I still like both guys," Saban said of Tagovailoa and Hurts. "I think both guys are good players. I think both guys can help our team, alright? So, why do you continually try to get me to say something that doesn't respect one of them? I'm not going to! So quit asking!"

Saban told reporters Monday that he spoke to Taylor and apologized.

"I talked to Maria," Saban said. "I could have handled it in a better way. I think the statement I made before (during the press conference) about loving our players is true, and if I get asked to vilify a player and make another a crown prince publicly, I need to learn of a better [way] to answer that in the future."

Saban did not indicate how much Hurts will play going forward, but it appears any thought of a true two-quarterback system is out the window. Tagovailoa is the starter until he's injured or plays himself out of the job, and Hurts is his backup.

The top-ranked Tide host Arkansas State on Saturday. 

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