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CFB Notebook: Alabama QB Tagovailoa to start again

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The Sports Xchange
Tua Tagovailoa (13) will start at quarterback for Alabama for the second straight week. Photo by Mark Wallheiser/UPI
Tua Tagovailoa (13) will start at quarterback for Alabama for the second straight week. Photo by Mark Wallheiser/UPI | License Photo

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will start Saturday's game against Arkansas State, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said on Monday.

Saban spent all summer avoiding any public statements about quarterbacks but Tagovailoa will get the nod over Jalen Hurts in the Crimson Tide's home opener.

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"Everybody knows that Tua's gonna start and we're gonna use Jalen's skill set in the future," Saban told reporters Monday.

Tagovailoa came off the bench to lead Alabama to the national championship in January and made his first career start in Saturday's 51-14 rout of Louisville in Orlando, Fla. The sophomore threw for two touchdowns and rushed for a TD while completing 12 of 16 passes for 227 yards.

RELATED Big Ten Network suspends Braylon Edwards for comments about Michigan

"Tua is instinctive and got the ball to the right place most of the time," Saban said.

Before Saturday, Hurts started 28 straight games and went 26-2. He did not appear against Louisville until the second quarter when Alabama was on its way to a blowout win.

Hurts, the former SEC Offensive Player of the Year, completed 5 of 9 passes for 70 yards on Saturday.

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RELATED Washington Huskies seeking rebound after loss to Auburn Tigers

--Braylon Edwards was hardly thrilled with his alma mater's play-calling, and his thoughts earned him a suspension from his role as a studio analyst for the Big Ten Network on Monday.

The network announced Edwards was suspended for violating the network's social media guidelines.

After Michigan opened its season with a 24-17 loss at Notre Dame on Saturday night, the former Wolverines wide receiver took to Twitter to express his dismay.

In a now-deleted tweet, Edwards wrote that the Michigan offense was "f-ing" predictable and said "Michigan football is sadly one thing? Trash."

Edwards also directed his criticism at various Michigan players. He referred to offensive lineman Cesar Ruiz as "weak" and labeled new Wolverines quarterback Shea Patterson "scared."

At his Monday press conference, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh responded to the tweets by Edwards.

"There's nobody in our program who thinks those things about any player on our team, let alone the two players he described," Harbaugh said. "On the other level, it's disappointing that a member of the Big Ten Network would choose to attack the character of two of our players. That's disappointing.

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"And, I would say that if somebody wants to attack the character of anyone on the ballclub, come after me, not our youngsters."

Following Harbaugh's press conference, Edwards returned fire with a lengthy tweet, writing: "So funny that everyone is worried (about) my tweet as opposed to the real issue, 0-17 on the road against ranked opponents, 1-6 against rivals and the one win was against a 3-9 MSU (Michigan State). Last thing I will ask and really think about this before you get mad, is Michigan better than Iowa."

Edwards joined the Big Ten Network in 2017 and was coached by Harbaugh in 2011 before getting released by the San Francisco 49ers.

--A marquee matchup in Week 1 against Auburn lived up to the billing, but Washington, which opened at No. 6 in the AP poll, came out on the wrong end of the hotly contested Pac-12 vs. SEC matchup in Atlanta.

While the 21-16 loss is certainly not an eliminating setback for the College Football Playoff, that result narrows the Huskies' margin for error considerably moving forward.

The first home game of the 2018 season pits Washington (0-1) against a much different opponent than the defending SEC West divisional champion. North Dakota (1-0) is coming off a disappointing 3-8 finish in 2017 and embarking on Football Championship Subdivision independence in 2018.

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"It all comes down to details when you're playing evenly matched teams. It's going to be decided by just some really big-time plays by a couple individuals," Washington coach Chris Petersen said in his postgame press conference Week 1. "We'll get some things tightened up."

--A 26-17 loss to Cincinnati in Week 1 made it abundantly clear that UCLA has much work to do in order to reach the lofty standard coach Chip Kelly set in his four seasons at Oregon.

Meanwhile, earlier on Saturday afternoon, Oklahoma stepped off the gas in a rout of Florida Atlantic ... and still scored 63 points.

Seems like a potential mismatch this Saturday when the Bruins (0-1) travel to Norman, Okla., to take on the 1-0 Sooners, which started the season No. 7 in the AP poll.

An Oklahoma offense that looks as dangerous as last season's 45.1-point per game monster could be a terrifying proposition. Kelly believes UCLA will be excited more than fearful.

"If you are a young kid, you grow up and you think about Oklahoma and all the great players that they've had and played there and you get to go play in (Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium)," Kelly said in his postgame press conference following Saturday's loss. "If you can't get excited about going to play Oklahoma at Oklahoma, then you are in the wrong spot."

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--Texas coach Tom Herman spent the better part of his media availability on Monday trying to send a message to everyone to come back to a positive frame of mind after his team's 34-29 loss at Maryland in its season opener.

Yes, the loss was a difficult one, Herman explained. And, yes, the Longhorns did not play up to anyone's expectations.

But there were plenty of things Texas did well in the loss as well, despite the "funeral home" feeling around the Longhorns' football complex on Sunday.

"I said postgame and I said today in the Big 12 teleconference, and I'll say it again here: Although the outcome is similar to last year's opener, this one feels much different," Herman said. "The reason we played so poorly, in my opinion, is actually a good one -- because of how close this team has become, how badly they wanted to perform for each other, for their coaches.

"We have to learn how to manage expectations," Herman added. "We have to learn how to manage self-inflicted pressure. We have to learn to manage a lot of things, and that's our job as coaches to make sure we are capable of doing that."

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