Nick Saban: ‘we have two good quarterbacks on our team’

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It may not be a quarterback controversy, but it’s at least a quarterback conundrum.

Jalen Hurts has gone 27-2 as the starting quarterback at Alabama, guiding the Crimson Tide to back-to-back national championship game appearances.  Trailing Georgia 13-0 at halftime, however, Hurts was yanked in favor of Tua Tagovailoa, with the true freshman playing a starring role in a wild come-from-behind win as he delivered a walk-off 41-yard touchdown pass in the first overtime.

Tagovailoa’s production and heroics on the biggest stage the sport has to offer combined with Hurts being limited in the passing game has led some to already anoint the Hawaiian sensation as the starter heading into the 2018 offseason.

At least publicly, the man who will ultimately make the call isn’t ready to pull the trigger on a permanent change.

“Look, we have two good quarterbacks on our team, no doubt,” Nick Saban said during a Monday morning press conference. “I think that we haven’t really made a decision about that, and it’s not imperative we make one right now.

“We’ve got two fine young men who really respect each other and have worked hard to help each other all year long.”

Hurts, in particular, showed what a fine young man he is in the face of difficult circumstances.

During the game, Hurts was caught by cameras on numerous occasions exhorting his team on as they mounted their second-half comeback without him on the field.  In fact, the sophomore was the first to run out and greet the freshman after Tagovailoa tossed the first of his three touchdown passes in the middle of the third quarter to finally get the Tide on the scoreboard.

After the game, Hurts’ class was on full display yet again.

What happens with the quarterback position in Alabama remains an unknown, but I think it’s safe to say Hurts will handle whatever decision is made with the grace that was on full display Monday night and on into Tuesday morning.

Reports: Miami hiring Lance Guidry from Tulane as DC

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
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Miami is hiring Lance Guidry, who was defensive coordinator at Marshall last season and recently accepted the same position at Tulane, to lead its defense, two people with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity because a deal was still being finalized between Guidry and Miami.

The 51-year-old Louisiana native was hired way from Marshall by Tulane just last month. Now he’ll replace Kevin Steele on Mario Cristobal‘s staff at Miami. Steele is reportedly on his way to Alabama to become Nick Saban‘s defensive coordinator after holding that position for one season with the Hurricanes.

Alabama has yet to make the hiring of Steele and offensive coordinator Tommy Rees official. Rees had been assistant at Notre Dame.

Tulane announced the hiring of Guidry on Jan. 23 to replace Chris Hampton, who left the New Orleans-based school to join Oregon’s staff as an assistant coach.

Guidry’s defenses at Marshall ranked third in the nation in yards per play this season (4.56) and 26th nationally in 2021 (5.14 ypp).

Iowa-Northwestern set for Wrigley Field in November

Nikos Frazier/Journal & Courier/USA TODAY NETWORK
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CHICAGO — Wrigley Field will host a college football game for the third time since 2010 when Iowa plays Northwestern next season.

Northwestern and the Chicago Cubs announced that the Wildcats’ home game will be played Nov. 4.

Northwestern played Illinois at Wrigley in 2010 in the MLB ballpark’s first college football game since 1938, and the Wildcats hosted Purdue there in 2021.

Wrigley Field has a long history of hosting football games. The Chicago Bears played there from 1921 to 1970 before moving to Soldier Field. The old Chicago Cardinals also played at Wrigley, as well as DePaul until its program folded in 1939.

Northwestern had been scheduled to play Wisconsin at Wrigley in 2020, but the game was moved to Ryan Field in Evanston because of the COVID-19 pandemic.