Nick Saban offers high praise in initial review of freshman QB Ryan Hilinski
Ryan Hilinski is set for his second start this week with the daunting task of facing a Nick Saban-coached defense. But the Alabama coach had plenty of positives about Hilinski’s debut last week against Charleston Southern.
Saban said Hilinski played “flawlessly,” as he went 24-for-30 passing for 282 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception.
“He certainly didn’t look like a freshman, executed offense very well,” Saban said at his weekly press conference ahead of the 3:30 p.m. ET meeting at Williams-Brice Stadium on CBS. “I thought the freshman quarterback played flawlessly for his first game.”
Saban added that South Carolina “didn’t miss a beat” in terms of the QB position following the injury to QB Jake Bentley, which caused the Hilinski start. Saban said there was no disrespect meant toward Bentley, who is a really good quarterback and certainly experienced.
“He’s a good athlete, he’s got a good arm,” Saban said of Hilinski. “He was very accurate. He made good decisions. He got rid of the ball, he got the ball out of his hand quickly, and he executed the offense extremely well.”