Saban not speculating about Alabama's fresh QBs after opener

That something was rack up 465 yards of total offense on 63 plays Saturday, outgaining a talented Southern Cal offense 465-to-194, as the vaunted Crimson Tide defense held an opponent under 200 yards of total offense for the 37th time since 2008, including four times last season.

Alabama owes us that much.

Regardless of whether Houston ends up in the Big 12 if the conference expands, the Cougars made an opening statement that could have season-long ramifications. The question is how will coach Saban decide how to use them in the upcoming games?

Lucky for him, the rest of his Alabama debut offered plenty of distractions, as the No. 1 Crimson Tide dominated No. 20 USC 52-6 on Saturday night.

Hurts, a true freshman, came in for starter Blake Barnett on the third series and completed 6 of 11 passes for 118 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

In came Hurts, the dual-threat who - as word had it - had torn it up in camp.

Kiffin's son, Monte, poses with the game ball, and the erstwhile USC coach hashtagged it with the exact time at which he was unceremoniously dumped. But if Saturday proved anything, it's that Alabama doesn't rebuild, it reboots. Then after the game in a move that would make a poker champion break from his poker face, Saban dropped a nugget.

Throughout his career at Alabama, Taylor has appeared in 15 games. Lane Kiffin was sacked by USC three years ago.

"We think both guys are talented, and we wanted both guys to play in the game", Saban said.

The seeds of "work to be done" may have been planted, but these guys aren't fooling anyone. It was also the worst opening day defeat for USC in their storied history. It worked well against USC but as coach said, it will be decided game by game at this point. Kiffin did his best with his play-calling Saturday to remind Helton who's boss.

Saban said the pick was something "he'll learn from". Alabama running back Damien Harris gained 138 yards on nine carries.

Say what you want about Kiffin, but his offense appears as though it hasn't missed a beat, even with the depature of quarterback Jacob Coker and Heisman Trophy victor Derrick Henry.

Hurts later extended a drive with a 10-yard completion to Calvin Ridley on third-and-10. "Hopefully it's a statement we're still going to fight, still going to play".

Alabama's defense scored on the ensuing drive. Veteran coordinator Jeremy Pruitt took over, but at this point it's worth asking whether the defense was breaking in its new coordinator or vice versa.

Michigan's Wilton Speight threw three touchdown passes in the first half and the Wolverines trounced Hawaii 63-3 in its most lopsided victory since 1975.

Coming into the game coach Saban was a little concerned about his running backs as they had been inconsistent during fall practice. Senior linebacker Tim Williams has never started a game in his career and still had to at least consider leaving early for the National Football League last season.

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