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Jumbo Package: QB woes, players only meetings, Kiffin calling his shot. Does Alabama even have a chance on Saturday?

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: Mississippi at Tulane Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, yesterday. As you may have heard by now, there was a “player’s only meeting” following the USF game.

“Everybody got a lot of stuff off their chest. I feel like we’re all on the same page now. You know what I mean? It’s unfortunate it took a loss at Bryant-Denny and a subpar game in Tampa for that to happen,” Booker said. “But I feel like we’re all on the same page now, and I am excited to see how the rest of the season goes now that we’re all on the same page.”

The No. 13 Crimson Tide lost its second game of the season to Texas by 10 points, the worst non-conference home loss in the Nick Saban era. Alabama needed to rally against South Florida with a sputtering offense after the sudden demotion of Jalen Milroe, eventually winning 17-3 in a sloppy effort.

Speaking with reporters after Booker’s radio hit, teammates JC Latham and Deontae Lawson both refrained from sharing details on the meeting. Latham referenced it was about “holding players accountable.” Head coach Nick Saban was asked about UA’s camaraderie and said he was “pleased.”

Guess we will see if anything comes of it. For his money, Saban continued to express confidence in the team going forward.

Optimism isn’t running high in Tuscaloosa. Still, Nick Saban made clear during his Monday press conference that he’s not giving up on the 2023 edition of the Crimson Tide.

“ I like the team,” Saban said. “I’ve got confidence in our team. I really do. We’ve had some tough stretches before and players have bounced back, but I think everybody has got to make a commitment to doing that. It’s not easy. We’ve got really tough competition coming up, but everybody has got to challenge themselves, I think, to be their best as a player, be their best as a team guy, be their best as a leader.”

Saban also set the record straight on the defensive coordinator situation after Lane Kiffin’s highly effective troll job.

“Kevin Steele is the defensive coordinator,” Saban said. “He has all the defensive coordinator responsibilities. The only thing that we tried to improve on from an administrative standpoint, it was gameday administration of getting the signals in quicker. That’s the only thing that we worked on together as a staff. The whole staff made a contribution to it and I think it was a lot better in this game than it was in the Texas game.”

Kiffin tried to downplay the situation when asked during his own weekly press conference what he saw on tape that led to the belief that Robinson is running the defense.

“I was asked the question what it was like going against Steele’s defense,” Kiffin said, according to the Clarion Ledger. “I wasn’t really trying to start this big thing. We saw things on TV copy just where it was different, first off with the playbook, the calls and stuff. We looked into that further. It ain’t no secret: People in these buildings know each other. We got some information that way too.”

You can watch all of Saban’s comments below.

This looks an awful lot like Lane calling his shot, doesn’t it?

Connor O’Gara asks when Kiffin will get a better chance to knock off Nick Saban.

The question isn’t whether Kiffin has an advantage at the game’s most important position. It’s how many of Ole Miss’ quarterbacks would start for the Tide? Two, at least. Maybe 3.

All Kiffin needs is his 1 signal-caller to step up. So far, that’s exactly what Jaxson Dart has done in 2023. Most recently, he allowed Ole Miss to work through a banged-up backfield by carrying the rock 14 times for 136 yards and 2 touchdowns in a blowout win against Georgia Tech. He’s leading the No. 4 offense in America with some eye-popping numbers:

202.5 QB rating (No. 1 in SEC, No. 6 in FBS)

12.5 yards/attempt (No. 1 in SEC, T-No. 1 in FBS)

213 rushing yards (No. 1 among SEC QBs, No. 7 among FBS QBs)

Last, Alex Scarborough examines the Alabama QB situation, and how we got here.

With Saban reinserting Milroe into the starting lineup against Ole Miss on Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS), will he use his speed to field a more run-heavy offense? It’s certainly possible. But can the offensive line support it? And will the receivers hold up their end of the bargain? And will the team stop shooting itself in the foot with penalties and unforced errors?

Picking a lane on offense is a good start to figuring things out, but it’s going to take a lot more than that for Alabama to get back on track and back in the playoff hunt.

Until then, the questions about who should start at quarterback will dominate the conversation and the doubts over the health of Saban’s dynasty won’t end.

That’s about it for now. Have a great day.

Roll Tide.