Alabama enters Week 3 of the 2023 college football season with a 1-1 record after losing to the Texas Longhorns at home by double digits. While there were many glaring issues on both sides of the ball, fans were automatically drawn to the Crimson Tide quarterback.
The expected scapegoat for every football team, the one behind center is often the one to take the blame, regardless of if it is warranted or not.
Milroe finished the game with a 51.9% completion percentage, completing 14 of 27 passing attempts for 255 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Is the QB battle still alive?
Over the offseason, the biggest storyline for this Crimson Tide team was the quarterback battle between Milroe, Buchner and Simpson. Many expected this battle to bleed into the regular season, but that was not the case. Milroe played most of the Week 1 game against Middle Tennessee, as he played well, and then played the entirety of the Week 2 loss to Texas. Is Saban and OC Tommy Rees rocking with Milroe, or could we see others take the field in the coming weeks?
Is Milroe lightyears ahead of the others?
With the Alabama coaching staff not publicly married to the idea of having Milroe be the full-time quarterback, the decision to leave him in for all four quarters confused many. Not letting Buchner or Simpson see the field led some to make the conclusion that Milroe must be significantly better than either of them. This would ultimately mean Saban believed keeping Milroe in gave the Tide the best chance to win the game.
What happens in Week 3?
Next week, Alabama travels to Tampa to take on the University of South Florida. The Bulls won just a single game in 2022 and have already matched their win total in 2023 with a 1-1 record. This game should not be nearly as difficult as the one against the Longhorns, which could give Saban and his coaching staff an opportunity to test out a few things, including different quarterbacks. There’s a chance we see a decent amount of all three – or just the ones in contention for the starting job, which could be as low as two or as high as four.
What happened to Dylan Lonergan?
I know this may seem like a bit of a reach. However, Lonergan’s name was brought up a ton as the offseason came to a close. Even Saban praised the true freshman’s abilities during media availability. If the trio of Milroe, Buchner and Simpson aren’t working out, could the possibility of introducing a freshman light some sort of a fire in this battle? He has yet to see the field this season.
What needs to change?
Maybe, at the end of the day, Milroe is the quarterback that perfectly fits the offensive scheme offensive coordinator Tommy Rees is seeking to run. If that’s the case, could a few tweaks to his play-calling change the way this offense looks? Texas’ defense had a field day against the Tide and it didn’t all fall on Milroe. Perhaps the answer to all of these questions could be found in the booth on game days. The man calling the offense may need to switch some things up in order to get the most out of his quarterback and the other 10 guys on the field.