Nick Saban has finally taken the cake out of the oven. According to ESPN’s Chris Lowe, Alabama is set to name Jalen Milroe as the starting quarterback for Saturday’s season opener against Middle Tennessee State.

Milroe contended for the quarterback role during preseason camp, facing competition from returning redshirt freshman Ty Simpson, as well as Notre Dame transfer and fellow redshirt sophomore Tyler Buchner. Last season, Milroe assumed the role of Alabama's main backup quarterback, backing up Bryce Young, who was selected as the No. 1 overall pick by the Carolina Panthers in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Last year, Milroe was tossed into action against Texas A&M for his first career start, filling in for an injured Bryce Young. He helped the Tide secure a tight victory against the Aggies, throwing for 111 yards and delivering three touchdowns.

At SEC Media Days in July, Saban compared the quarterback competition to baking a cake and being patient to not take the cake out of the oven too soon.

“I used to stand by the oven when I was a kid and say, “When is this cake going to be done? When is this cake going to be done?’” Saban said in Nashville. “She said, ‘If I don’t let it go through and take it out of the oven too soon, it will turn to mush and it won’t be a really good cake.’ So I think we have to sort of let this develop and make sure we let the cake bake until somebody separates themselves.”

The cake is seemingly out of the oven, and Milroe appears to be the guy who has separated himself. Milroe will be the starter on Saturday but is not guaranteed the job for the entire season. Saban has stressed throughout fall camp that the competition doesn’t end in the season opener, it extends through the entire season.

“Fall camp is not the beginning of the end,” Saban said he told his quarterbacks during camp earlier in August. “You got an opportunity to separate yourself, show you can play with consistency and play winning football at the position, but that competition goes on and on and on and we need all our quarterbacks to continue to improve and continue to compete, compete far beyond even the time that we name a starter.”

Alabama and Middle Tennessee State are set to kick off at 6:30 p.m. CT inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. The game will be televised on SEC Network.

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