In our Fifth Quarter review of all — well, most. OK, some — the season-opening highs, lows and everything in between, I made the case that AJ McCarron showed enough in Alabama’s win over Kent State to be named as the starter over Phillip Sims heading into the Penn State game this weekend.
Nick Saban, however, is not ready to make that leap quite yet.
The Tide head coach addressed his quarterback situation Monday and, as has been the case since way back in spring practice, he sidestepped questions about a starter at the position. He did allow, though, that a starter could be named later in the week. Maybe.
“I know you’re going to ask me about the quarterback situation,” Saban said in quotes distributed by the team. “We’re going to continue to develop both of the quarterbacks that we have. We’re not going to name a starting quarterback today. Later in the week, as we see how the two guys practice, we’ll make a determination as to which guy will give us the best opportunity in this particular game, or if there’s some combination of the two that would be helpful and useful to us, we’ll look at the option of doing that.
“I think the most important thing that we want to focus on with both quarterbacks is what do we need to do to play as well as you’re capable of playing, and continue to improve and work through, with both guys, the importance of doing the little things right and the fundamental things right so that you can play the way you are capable of playing. I think both guys are capable of playing better than they did, not that we’re disappointed in either one of them, but we still feel like we have two really good players at that position and both of those guys will continue to develop and help us somewhere down the road.”
Of course, the media continued to press Saban on the QB situation. And, of course, Saban didn’t appreciate being pressed.
“Well that’s a hypothetical question,” the coach said. “We know where we are playing this week; we know what it’s like to play there. We have played there before, and we know what our quarterback situation is. I’ve already addressed that.”
McCarron was the official starter for the opener, but the reps for both players were split fairly evenly. Based on the way the two performed Saturday, we’d expect McCarron to be the starter yet again. And, unlike like last week, take the majority of the reps over the course of the game.