Analyst Doubles Down, Says Alabama Players Gave ‘Less Than Max Effort’ vs. USF

Getty Late Kick host Josh Pate doubled down on his take that Alabama lacked effort against USF in Week 3

Late Kick host Josh Pate is standing by his take that Alabama players were lacking effort in a lackadaisical 17-3 Week 3 victory over USF on September 16 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida — appearing on the September 19 edition of The Next Round to explain that it’s because no one from the Crimson Tide program has corrected him.

“I think that’s the worst I’ve ever seen Alabama look under (Nick) Saban and that counts (2007) only because in ’07 there were no expectations like there were this year,” Pate said.

“I said Sunday night that I thought it was indicative of some folks giving less than max effort because they disagreed with personnel moves. I still believe that. I didn’t have a single person from that program reach out and say otherwise by the way, which speaks volumes because they’ll normally be quick to do it if you’re wrong about something.”

Pate was referring to the decision to bench starting quarterback Jalen Milroe in favor of Notre Dame transfer Tyler Buchner, who has experience under Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Tommy Rees from their shared time in South Bend, Indiana with the Fighting Irish. Buchner was benched against USF after completing 5/14 passes for Ty Simpson.

Alabama Names Jalen Milroe as Starter for Ole Miss Game

Alabama head coach Nick Saban has chosen to name Milroe as the starting quarterback for the Crimson Tide’s Week 4 matchup against Ole Miss; coached by his former offensive coordinator from 2014-2016, Lane Kiffin.

Saban noted that he liked what he saw from Milroe during the USF matchup. The redshirt sophomore was seen celebrating with his teammates on the sidelines, earning the respect of Saban and the Alabama coaching staff with his attitude.

“Jalen really showed the leadership I was looking for in terms of supporting his teammates and doing the things he needed to do,” Saban said on September 18. “He’s had the opportunity to play, as did the other guys, and Jalen played the best. I think he’s earned the opportunity to be the quarterback.”

Milroe struggled during his last start, a 34-24 loss to Texas at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 9, completing 14 of his 27 pass attempts with two touchdowns and a pair of interceptions.

2 QBs for Alabama ‘Could Make Sense’ Against Ole Miss

Bama Hammer’s Ronald Evans believes that in order to make game-planning tougher for Ole Miss’s coaching staff, it “could make sense” for Alabama to deploy Milroe and Simpson against the Rebels on September 23.

“Although Nick Saban has never liked it, a two-QB plan could make sense against Ole Miss,” Evans wrote. “With adequate protection, Ty Simpson’s passing could eliminate any loading of the box Pete Golding is inclined to use.

“At the least, the possibility of having to defend two different offensive approaches makes the Ole Miss preparation harder.”

Simpson has completed six of his 10 passing attempts during the 2023 season, with five completions and nine of those attempts coming against USF. True freshmen Eli Holstein and Dylan Lonergan have yet to make their season debuts and appear buried behind Milroe and Simpson on the depth chart.
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