Listen to What Nick Saban Said After the 2018 A-Day Game

Arnold Nichols
April 24, 2018

Remember, hero of the national title game and presumptive 2018 starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has missed nearly all of spring practice due to an injury.

Key, who missed the start of the season with a knee injury, averaged 7.0 points and 5.3 rebounds per game as a sophomore, falling off quite a bit from a strong freshman season when he averaged 12.0 points and 5.7 rebounds, leading the team in scoring and making the SEC All-Freshman team. Jones finished the game connecting on 23-of-35 passes for 289 yards and two touchdowns through the air. Hurts completed 19 of 37 pass attempts for 195 yards and that one interception.

Hurts was also sacked seven times as the offensive line struggled at times.

"We've been very pleased with the progress that Mac Jones has made, so that gives us more depth at that position", Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban said. "We have some guys that can rush, and even though we were rushing four guys most of the time, there was way too much pressure in the pocket for the quarterback to be able to operate like we would like".

Rather than running the clock out, Crimson added to its lead and put the game away when Jones hit wide receiver Xavian Marks for a 46-yard touchdown with 33 seconds remaining.

He led the Tide in scoring his first season and was named to the Southeastern Conference's all-freshman team.

The 2028 matchup will be the first since the Crimson Tide defeated the Irish 42-14 in the BCS National Championship Game in Miami at the conclusion of the 2012 season. "All in all, we made a lot of progress this spring and I'm not completely satisfied where we are, but I'm certainly excited about the opportunities that we have to try and improve over the summer and the individuals over the next five weeks".

"Overall, I feel like it's a great opportunity to showcase what we've been working on", senior tight end Hale Hentges said.

Saban addressed the comments from Hurts' father prior to A-Day - the day on which Alabama's spring game is played - insisting that the two have a good relationship and are on the same page in terms of the competition.

Hurts was the lone quarterback under the microscope on Saturday, but it's unlikely to stay that way.

"I was not disappointed in the way Jalen played", Saban said. It's just is he the type of quarterback that turns the corner for Alabama in those critical games?

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