Alabama’s Jalen Milroe Sets School Record In Season-Opener | Is Nick Saban Ready To Make Dynamic Dual Threat The Permanent Starter At QB?

The 2023 college football season got off to a great start for the Alabama Crimson Tide with their 56-7 win over Middle Tennessee State. In the game starting quarterback Jalen Milroe set a school record, becoming the first quarterback to throw three touchdowns and run for two more in a game.

Milroe, the four-star product from Katy, Texas, by way of Tompkins High School, is one of four quarterbacks vying to replace Heisman Trophy-winning signal-caller Bryce Young, who was the No.1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft by the Carolina Panthers. Based on Milroe’s performance Saturday, and the fact that Saban gave him the first crack at it, one would believe it’s pretty much his job to lose. Or is it?

With No. 11 Texas heading to Tuscaloosa next weekend for another early season tilt, Milroe will have to prove himself against a much stiffer Longhorns team. 

Milroe Looked The Part

From the jump, Milroe looked like a much more polished and confident passer, as he threw touchdown passes of 47, 48 and 29 yards to three different receivers. In total, Milroe went 13 of 18 for 194 yards and those touchdowns.

Milroe displayed playmaking ability with this legs that separate him from other elite college quarterbacks. He used his improvisational skills when he turned a disastrous snap into a 21-yard touchdown run on the Crimson Tide’s first possession.

The 6-foot-2 specimen finished the night with 48 yards rushing and two paydirt touches. 

A normally mundane and stoic Nick Saban seemed excited about his QB, and told reporters this in his postgame interview.

“Jalen did a good job,” Saban said. “I think he’s had a good fall camp. I thought he played well in both scrimmages. I think he’s more confident and doing a good job in the passing game.”

“His athleticism helps him,” Saban added. “You know he’s a threat to pull the ball, which he scored a touchdown on that. And I thought he threw the ball effectively. So I thought he played well.”

But was it well enough to solidify his standing at QB1? 

Saban Says He Can’t Predict Future

When asked how if he felt Saturday’s performance by Milroe would help him going forward, Saban sounded like someone who doesn’t know what to expect. 

“You’re asking me to speculate and answer a question about how a guy is going to perform in the future?” he said. “I don’t really know. I love him. I think he’s doing well. I know he’s working hard to improve. He’s a good competitor. He’ll do everything he can to play his best.”

Demonstrating with a can of Coke that Saban never drinks during his pressers, the seven-time national championship-winning coach said this:

“This is a Coke bottle,” he said. “It’s not a crystal ball. It’s hard to know.”

As the Tide go forward, Milroe gives them the best chance to have success and a shot at winning another national title. While none of the four come close to what the aforementioned Young offered, Milroe offers a rare blend of speed, arm strength, power and elusive escapability from the QB position.

Dare we say it? A Cam Newton season like 2010 is very plausible in Tuscaloosa. 

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