Saban Says Tide Still Has QB Competition

Alabama Coach Nick Saban said that Blake Sims “did a good job” in leading Alabama to a 33-23 win over West Virginia, but said that going forward “I don’t hesitate to say there’s a quarterback competition.

There certainly was no quarterback controversy born of Alabama’s 33-23 win over West Virginia Saturday. Fifth-year senior Blake Sims and Jake Coker, a junior transfer from Florida State, had been bracketed throughout pre-season camp and both had been expected to play against the Mountaineers. But Sims played all but the final mop-up snaps.

Sims, 6-0, 208, had been Bama’s little-used back-up quarterback the past two years. It was no surprise that he got the start against West Virginia, but it was surprising that Coker did not participate when the game was competitive.

Sims completed 24 of 33 passes for 250 yards. He suffered one interception. He also ran six times for 42 yards.

Saban said Sims “had a couple open guys he missed.” But Sims might have had even better statistics, Saban said, but that Sims made “a couple good throws…that were dropped.”

He said Sims did have some issues with “poise and calling plays in the huddle, taking too long in the huddle. We had to call timeout a couple times. Those are the types of things that are the game management issues that we have to improve upon. We actually went no-huddle for a little bit and then he got settled down and then he was fine after that. I thought it was good.

“I still don't hesitate to say there's a quarterback competition. In some way we'll probably try to play both quarterbacks in this game. I don't know how. When I figure it out, I'm probably not going to tell you. And I don't know if that's important to be honest with you.”

This week Alabama is host to Florida Atlantic. Kickoff in Bryant-Denny Stadium is at 11 a.m. CDT Saturday. The SEC Network will televise the game.

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