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Nick Saban reveals one reason for benching Jalen Milroe versus USF

Nick Saban runs onto the field against USF
Nathan Ray Seebeck - USA TODAY Sports

Nick Saban unveils a reason why Jalen Milroe was benched against South Florida.

Everyone has their attention on Ole Miss and the significance of the matchup.

RELATED: Why Nick Saban knows Alabama will respond better against Ole Miss?

Alabama cannot have another loss on its record or its postseason dreams are over. The Crimson Tide got a 17-3 victory over the Bulls last week; however, the contest was awkward inside Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. Alabama’s offense was lifeless until the last six minutes of the game. Milroe was the lone offensive player showing energy and enthusiasm, but he was on the sideline. Coach Saban started Tyler Buchner at quarterback and Ty Simpson led the offense on two 80+ touchdown drives.

People had theories on why Milroe did not start. Some felt he was in Saban’s doghouse. Others believed it was time to give someone else an opportunity to see if they could lead the team. Milroe supported both quarterbacks, including Simpson on his two touchdown drives. Contrary to popular belief, Saban revealed the lone reason for benching Milroe to ESPN’s Chris Low.

His reason had nothing to do with the theories of others. Saban said he promised all three quarterbacks a chance to play in games.

“That was it. Nothing else,” Saban said. “I’ve got confidence in Jalen. I believe in him. The one thing that we’ve always talked about is you make enough good plays, but you’ve got to eliminate the devastating plays, the ones that are killers. It happened twice in the Texas game, but I think he’s learned from it.”

Milroe, a sophomore, had two interceptions in the loss to Texas. He totaled three turnovers in a 24-20 victory last year against Texas A&M, filling in for Bryce Young. Saban said the experience would be helpful for Milroe in the end.

RELATED: What Alabama’s offense need to look like for Jalen Milroe to succeed?

“I’ve been pleased with the way he’s responded,” Saban said.

Saban’s desire is for the players around the quarterback to perform better.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith. 

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 15 years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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