Alabama QB Sims to take first snaps against Florida, but Coker remains an option
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Although there was no formal announcement regarding the starting quarterback job, University of Alabama coach Nick Saban didn’t surprise anyone when he told reporters Wednesday night that senior Blake Sims will take the first snaps against Florida.
“We’re going to play Blake,” Nick Saban said Wednesday evening. “We’ll always evaluate and see how it goes. We’ve got a lot of confidence in Jake (Coker). If we need to play Jake, we’ll certainly have no problems putting him in there and allowing him to play.”
Sims has started all three games this season and completed 48 of 64 passes (75.0 percent). He’s eighth in SEC passing with 646 yards, but his 177.3 passer-efficiency rating is third behind only Bo Wallace of Ole Miss (190.0) and Kenny Hill of Texas A&M (178.8).
Meanwhile, junior Jacob Coker is 20 of 31 (64.5 percent) with 248 yards in relief.
As for what kind of different play-calling fans might see this week against the Gators (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS), Saban said that coaches have been exposing Sims to different aspects of the offense throughout the fall and adding to it each week of the season.
“But still, when it’s all said and done, it always comes down to how you’ve executed whatever it is you do,” he said. “If you think you’re going to trick them by putting a bunch of new plays in that your players aren’t capable of executing because you didn’t practice enough, you’re probably not going to do it very well. It’s sort of a combination of yeah, let’s do a couple of new things that we can practice and rep and get guys good at as well as continue to do the things that we do well, that the players have confidence in and everybody knows how and understands how to block and execute against whatever the other team does.”
For the season, Sims has been the quarterback for 22 possessions, during which Alabama has executed 151 plays for 1,169 yards, resulting 11 touchdowns and four field goals.
Coker has been on the field for 10 possessions, resulting in 70 plays, 464 yards, three touchdowns (Alec Morris completed the last drive against Southern Miss for a touchdown) and three field goals.
The average possession for Sims is 6.9 plays, 53.1 yards and 4.05 points (extra-point conversions included).
For Coker it’s 7 plays, 46.4 yards, and 3.0 points.
“I don’t know too much about what the quarterback situation is, but I know when Blake’s in there we have confidence in him and when Jacob comes in we have confidence in him too,” junior cornerback Cyrus Jones said. “Whoever the guy is going to be we’re going to ride with him and have his back.”