Alabama Team News

Nick Saban says criticism of Jalen Hurts’ development as passer is unjustified

Jalen Hurts Nick Saban
Marvin Gentry/USA TODAY Sports

Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts has been criticized for his development as a passer, and coach Nick Saban doesn’t think that’s fair.

Saban told reporters Monday that details such as low passing numbers are “overblown” at that there are other contributing factors for that aside from his own personal play.

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In Alabama’s 41-10 win over Fresno State on Saturday, Hurts rushed for a career-high 154 yards and two touchdowns on 10 attempts but also threw for just 128 yards and one touchdown on 14 of 18 passing.

Hurts also had similar production in the Crimson Tide’s 24-7 win over Florida State in the season opener as he threw for only 96 yards and one touchdown on 10 of 18 passing. He also rushed for 55 yards on 15 attempts against the Seminoles, who were ranked No. 3 at the time of their meeting.

Hurts, a sophomore, has been expected to become a more developed passer in his second season as starter, with the help of first-year offensive coordinator Brian Daboll overseeing his progress.

Last season as a true freshman, Hurts was named SEC Offensive Player of the Year after throwing for 2,780 yards, 23 touchdowns and two interceptions. He also rushed for 954 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Hurts guided Alabama to a 14-1 record last season and scored the go-ahead touchdown late in the national championship game against Clemson before the Tigers responded on the next drive to win it.

Alabama, ranked No. 1 in the polls, hosts Colorado State this Saturday.

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(You can follow Kevin Connell on Twitter @_KevinConnell)

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