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Jumbo Package: Saban makes this Tua’s team

And he issued a very public apology, which should be enough to quiet the jackals.

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<p zoompage-fontsize="15" style="">NCAA Football: CFP National Championship Game-Alabama vs Georgia

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

In today’s no-brainer news, Nick Saban named Tua Tagovailoa Alabama’s starting QB, and said that yes, Jalen Hurts will be used. I’ve always thought that Hurts would play in most games and then exit as a grad transfer: Makes sense. He was an EE, graduates in December, and 75% of a year off from live competition isn’t going to make him crisper, right? But, Josh is of the opinion Jalen will or should play his four games, and then take the redshirt — giving him in essence a two-year window to improve and play elsewhere, should he be able to.

We still don’t have a definitive answer either way, but at least publicly Saban’s not even considering putting the redshirt on the Junior.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Nick Saban announced sophomore quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will start Alabama’s home opener against Arkansas State on Saturday, Sept. 8, at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

The head coach also said he will use Jalen Hurts and his “skill set in the future to help however we feel that he can benefit the team.” But will the new redshirt rule, which allows players to play in four games or less and still maintain a year of eligibility, affect the plan for Hurts?

“Not from my standpoint,” Saban said on Monday. “I don’t know how you can prepare when you pick and choose when you’re going to play players. I don’t know how you can do that.

I think everyone was most concerned about miscommunications on the revamped defense. But, the secondary wound up not being the culprit — most of the errors originated in the linebacking corps.

Mack Wilson cracks me up:

Linebacker Mack Wilson took the blame for communication issues getting play calls distributed to the defense. It was the first time he was in the true quarterback-of-the-defense role and he said he did “OK.”

”I kinda was confident going into this game and I feel like (Louisville) did some things that we didn’t go over and I was kind of like ‘What should I call?’ or whatever,” Wilson said, “but I made a call and we were on the same page and we kinda executed that play but of course it probably wasn’t the right call but at least we ran something. (Ed. Note: emphasis added)

It was a good weekend for the ole’ SOS. And as you know, CB will discuss that as always in Around:

The SEC went 13-1, most of them blowouts, and racked up four victories over Power Five conference opponents. That equals the total for the other four P5 conferences combined (two for the Big Ten, one for the Big 12 and one for the Pac-12).

* * *

When they lined up against comparable opponents over the weekend, they took care of business.

The Alabama staffed named its players of the game, and they aren’t surprising:

Tua Tagovailoa and Jonah Williams on offense, Deionte Thompson and Quinnen Williams on defense and Keaton Anderson, Josh Jacobs and Jaylen Waddle on special teams all earned recognition for their performances against the Cardinals. Williams was also named SEC Co-Defensive Lineman of the Week, and Waddle was SEC Freshman of the Week.

Keaton blowing two fools up is already one of my favorite moments of the young season. And, we warned you Deionte was going to explode this year. He’s off to a great start. Hard to believe that guy rides the bench at any other team in the country.

Alabama had to prepare for 41 variations of the same blitz (yes, 41) times from Louisville. On the flipside, I think Jawon Pass did a pretty good job under the circumstances. He’s a tough kid with an accurate arm and a quick read — and already looks to a better passer than Lamar Jackson. On a night when few things went right for the Cards, No. 7 (injured DE — can’t be bothered to google. #NoRefunds) and Puma were quality players.

Welcome to the show: This won’t be the last award dynamic freshman Jaylen Waddle receives. His first return, he almost houses a punt. His first game, he is named the SEC’s Freshman of the Week. Teammate Quinnen Williams was an unblockable force too. For his efforts in dominating the Cards, relegating them to bullshit chopblocks, he also picked up All-SEC honors. Funny how this diving-at-knees always happens against Petrino’s teams, isn’t it?

Alabama football’s Jaylen Waddle and Quinnen Williams each received Southeastern Conference weekly honors, the league announced on Monday morning. Waddle was tabbed as the league’s Freshman of the Week, while Williams earned Co-Defensive Lineman of the Week recognition.

Waddle proved to be effective on multiple fronts in his first collegiate game at Alabama as the freshman assumed punt return duties while also seeing time at wide receiver. He contributed four punt returns for 80 yards with a long of 31 and added three receptions for 66 yards as the Tide’s No. 4 wideout. Waddle had a long reception of 49 yards to set up a one-yard touchdown run by Najee Harris for UA’s third score of the evening, extending Alabama’s lead to 21-0 up to that point.

Oh, Aggie. If you’re ever going to get that first big win beyond the Alabama victory, this week is your chance. The Tigers’ secondary is still a work in progress, and Clemson will rotate QBs in the Hate Barn. Because a quarterback controversy in a 103,000-seat deafening venue is just what the doctor ordered, eh?

Practice notes are...sparse. There are quite a few players babying some minor injuries this week.

Finally, am I going to go into depth with the brouhaha between Maria Taylor and Nick Saban? Nah. It was a fair and benign question by Taylor. He responded to it very poorly. He made a private apology that night to Taylor and then made what I think was the right move — a public one yesterday. None of it had to do with her race or gender (sorry, Twitter). He was just being an ass, and he apologized. And it’s over now. We’ve got a guy covering up systemic domestic abuse and rot in a major college football program, with folks are carrying water for the Buckeyes’ “adversity” — but Saban snapping at reporters then apologizing is still the columnists’ wet dream? You can GTFOH with that.