Saban names Milroe as Alabama’s starting QB vs. Ole Miss

Saban names Milroe as Alabama’s starting QB vs. Ole Miss

Alabama is going back to Jalen Milroe as its starting quarterback in Week 4 when it hosts Ole Miss in the SEC opener for both schools. Milroe started the Crimson Tide’s first two games, but he didn’t play in this past Saturday’s 17-3 win at South Florida.

Nick Saban announced the move back to Milroe on Monday morning.

As of late Monday afternoon, most betting shops had Alabama (2-1 straight up, 1-2 against the spread) listed as a seven-point home favorite with a total of 55. The Rebels were +225 on the money line at DraftKings.

Alabama was a 15.5-point ‘chalk’ vs. Ole Miss in DraftKings’ Games of the Year lines before the season started.

Milroe completed 13-of-18 passes for 194 yards and three touchdowns without an interception in the Tide’s 56-7 win over Middle Tennessee in Week 1. He also had a team-best 48 rushing yards and two TDs on seven attempts.

But in a 34-24 loss to Texas as a seven-point home favorite in Week 2, Milroe connected on 14-of-27 throws for 255 yards and two TDs, but he was intercepted twice. He had 44 rushing yards on 15 carries.

Alabama’s Tyler Buchner, a transfer QB from Notre Dame, was given the starting nod in the non-covering victory over the Bulls down in Tampa. Buchner struggled mightily in his Crimson Tide debut, completing merely 5-of-14 passes for 34 yards. He had 11 rushing yards on a pair of attempts.

Saban yanked Buchner for redshirt freshman Ty Simpson, who completed 5-of-9 passes for 73 yards. Simpson scored on a one-yard TD run to put USF away with only 33 seconds remaining.

Gamblers should be on alert after Alabama reportedly held a players-only meeting following the lackluster win as a 34-point road favorite. Players-only meetings are a clear indicator of chemistry issues and friction galore between teammates.

Tennessee had a players-only meeting ahead of its SEC opener at Florida after looking sloppy in a home win over Austin Peay in Week 2. The Volunteers proceeded to drop a 29-16 decision at UF as five-point road ‘chalk.’ It was UT’s 10th consecutive loss at The Swamp and its 17th loss against the Gators in the last 19 head-to-head meetings.

Ole Miss (3-0 SU, 3-0 ATS) is off a 48-23 win over Ga. Tech as a 16.5-point home favorite. The Yellow Jackets cut the Rebels’ lead to 24-17 with 10:31 left in the fourth quarter, but Lane Kiffin’s team responded with 17 unanswered points.

Ole Miss scored 24 points in the last 7:45. QB Jaxson Dart completed 10-of-18 passes for 251 yards and one TD without an interception. He also had a team-high 136 rushing yards and one TD on 14 attempts. RB Ulysses Bentley had 61 rushing yards and two TDs on six carries.

RB Quinshon Judkins, who was supposedly ‘doubtful’ to play according to an ESPN report on Saturday morning, did end up playing. Judkins had 37 rushing yards and one TD on 13 carries. He also had two catches for 27 yards. WR Jordan Watkins had four receptions for 119 yards and one TD.

Ole Miss played without three of its top offensive weapons in TE Caden Prieskorn, WR Zakhari Franklin and WR Tre Harris. Franklin, Harris, Prieskorn, TE Hudson Wolfe and WR Qua Davis are listed as ‘questionable’ at Alabama.

Harris had six catches for 133 yards and four TDs in his team’s 73-7 win over Mercer in Week 1. Then he had two catches for 55 yards and one TD before leaving a 37-20 win at Tulane early in the first quarter.

Kiffin told media members on Monday that Prieskorn and Harris practiced today. Prieskorn, a first-team All-AAC selection for Memphis last season, and Franklin have missed the Rebels’ first three games.