Alabama is expected to switch things up at the quarterback position this Saturday.
According to reports by ESPN and 247 Sports, Notre Dame transfer Tyler Buchner will get the nod over Jalen Milroe when the Crimson Tide face South Florida. Milroe started the first two games of the year for the Tide but struggled at protecting the football last week against Texas. Buchner reportedly received more reps with the first-team offense this week in anticipation that he would start Saturday.
Saban has made it clear that a player needs to play well if he wants to keep his position. During a 34-24 loss to Texas, Milroe had two interceptions, and Saban acknowledged that he contemplated making a quarterback change during the game.
"Well, we evaluate every position every week. If guys want security in their position, they need to play well," Saban said. "Everybody on our team knows that. I think everybody has responded in a positive way to try to get better and to improve. We'll constantly evaluate that position as we do every other position."
We have seen it before. Saban is not scared to make a quarterback change if the player isn’t performing up to the standard that he requires. Down 13-0 at halftime of the 2017 College Football Playoff Championship Game, Saban put in freshman Tua Tagovailoa to replace Jalen Hurts, and the Tide went on to win.
So far this season, Buchner has seen limited action once, and it has come when the game was well out of reach. In Alabama’s season opener against Middle Tennessee State, he was in for 13 plays, completing 3 of his 5 passes for 27 yards as well as a 9-yard touchdown run. He did not see any action in the loss against Texas.
Earlier in the week Saban alluded to how well Buchner had progressed and played in recent practices.
"He played really well in the last scrimmage, and he's done well in practice,” Saban said. “So we feel really good about how he's continued to improve and develop and gain confidence in what he is doing and have a good feeling around his teammates and receivers.”
Alabama will travel to South Florida this weekend for a 2:30 p.m. CT kickoff inside Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
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