In the game against Arkansas last year, Jalen Milroe played his first significant minutes in relief of an injured Bryce Young. One year later, Milroe will make his seventh start for the Crimson Tide when Alabama hosts Arkansas this Saturday.
The first few starts this season have been a bit shaky for Milroe, but an excellent performance against Texas A&M has provided confidence for him and his head coach. Milroe continues to improve week by week, and Saban has been noticing.
“I think his confidence, relationships and understanding with his coaches of exactly what he needs to do as a player has gone way up, and I think that is what has helped his performance,” said Saban in his weekly appearance on "The Pat McAfee Show." “I mean, the guy’s a talented guy. He can throw the ball accurately down the field. He’s a really good athlete. He can extend plays and can make plays with his feet.”
“This progression that we kind of needed for him to just play quarterback has been really, really, exponentially improving week by week," he added.
Last Saturday against Texas A&M, Milroe had the best passing performance of his career against one of the best defenses the Crimson Tide has faced all season. Milroe threw for 321 yards, three touchdowns and an interception to lead Alabama to a 26-20 victory. Alabama was forced to resort to the passing game because they couldn’t get the run game going against a dominant Texas A&M run defense.
“People thought we couldn’t throw the ball, and he threw for over 300 yards last week, which we knew we were going to have to do against A&M because of their front. And he did a good job of that,” Saban said Thursday. “So continuing his development in all these areas, I think, is really, really important, and he’s been great about it. He’s had a great attitude about it.”
Milroe’s accuracy and decision-making have also improved weekly. He completed just 60% of his passes in his first two games. Over his last three games, all against SEC opponents, Milroe has connected with his receivers at a rate of 73%. More importantly, Milroe has had success with the deep ball, leading to a 174.8 passer rating that puts him twelfth in the nation.
Milroe and the Crimson Tide host the Razorbacks at 11 a.m. in Bryant-Denny Stadium this Saturday.
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