No decision yet on Alabama's starting QB

No decision yet on Alabama's starting QB

August 17th, 2014 by David Paschall in Sports - College

Alabama quarterback Blake Sims dives forward for extra yardage in the Crimson Tide's preseason scrimmage Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

The notion that Florida State transfer Jake Coker would waltz from Tallahassee to Tuscaloosa and quickly snatch the starting quarterback job at Alabama had not come to fruition entering Saturday afternoon's second scrimmage.

It's still a position up for grabs, according to Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban.

Alabama worked out for two hours inside Bryant-Denny Stadium amid conditions that were much more pleasant compared to last weekend's downpour. Yet Saban again refrained from releasing Coker's passing statistics as well as those of fifth-year senior Blake Sims.

"Both of the quarterbacks got an equal amount of reps with the ones today," Saban said in his post-practice news conference. "Both guys had their moments of doing good things, but I also saw inconsistencies with those guys. I do think Blake is probably playing a little faster right now. He's been in the system longer and has a better understanding and has a little bit more rhythm.

"I think sometimes that Jake is still trying to feel his way. He made some real significant strides in practice this week and really had some good practices, so that's still going to be a real competitive situation. Until somebody clearly wins the job, we're not going to make a decision."

Saban released just a handful of details from the closed scrimmage.

Redshirt freshman tailback Tyren Jones had 12 carries for 44 yards and a touchdown, while fellow redshirt freshman Altee Tenpenny had 10 carries for 12 yards. No rushing stats were provided for juniors T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake or for sophomore Derrick Henry, but Drake caught three passes for 77 yards and a touchdown.

Drake had six rushes for 88 yards and a touchdown in the first scrimmage, as well as four receptions for 65 yards.

"He caught three or four passes today and had a couple of runs," Saban said. "We had a couple of turnovers today, a couple of interceptions that were tipped balls that maybe could have been caught but were not. Statistics don't always tell the truth, but Kenyan has been doing a really good job.

"He made a 65-yard catch today for a touchdown."

Redshirt freshman ArDarius Stewart led the receivers with 68 yards on three catches, while junior Amari Cooper had 63 yards and a touchdown on five catches. Cooper bruised his knee during the scrimmage, but Saban expects him to be fine to practice this week.

Saban said Alabama's offensive line was not physical enough in the scrimmage but added that Leon Brown, Dominick Jackson and tight end Brian Vogler sat out. Brown and Vogler are expected to be full go when the Crimson Tide resume workouts Tuesday, while Jackson could be full speed by the end of the week.

Senior linebacker Trey DePriest has missed much of preseason camp but made seven tackles including one for loss Saturday. Junior linebacker Dillon Lee tallied six tackles and a sack, while sophomore defensive end Jonathan Allen had four tackles and two sacks.

Junior safety Landon Collins had four tackles, two pass breakups and a sack to head the secondary, which competed without junior safety Geno Smith and sophomore cornerback Eddie Jackson.

Contact David Paschall at or 423-757-6524.