Nick Saban might be at the end of his rope when it comes to questions about the status of his quarterbacks.
Only a few days after saying the criticism of starting quarterback Jalen Hurts was overblown, the Alabama coach bristled on Wednesday when asked by a reporter how he planned to use backup Tua Tagovailoa against Colorado State this Saturday.
Tagovailoa, a highly touted true freshman from Hawaii, saw his first action during the second quarter of last weekend's game against Fresno State, completing 6 of 9 passes for 64 yards and a touchdown.
"We haven't decided how we're going to play the guys, and I wouldn't tell you if I did," Saban told reporters in Tuscaloosa. "I don't mind you asking the question, but I don't need to answer it. But I will call Colorado State and tell them exactly what I want to do as soon as we get out of here."
Saban pointed out that he actually knows Colorado State coach Mike Bobo, who was a longtime offensive coordinator at Georgia and whose father owns a home near Saban's property at Lake Burton in Georgia.
"So I'll call them up and tell them who we're playing, when, how long, when we're putting them in; we'll tell them the whole thing," Saban said. "Is that all right? Is that all right with you?"
It's clear that the Hurts-Tagovailoa dynamic has become bothersome to Saban, who accused a reporter of trying to create a quarterback controversy where there was none during SEC media days in July.
Saban has reiterated on several occasions that Hurts -- who was the SEC Offensive Player of the Year winner as a true freshman last season -- is, in fact, the team's starting quarterback and that Tagovailoa would be used only in certain situations this season. With only Hurts, Tagovailoa and true freshman Mac Jones as scholarship quarterbacks on the roster, getting Tagovailoa experience is necessary in the event that Hurts were to get injured, Saban has said.
Nonetheless, the progress of Hurts' development after an up-and-down freshman year has become a popular talking point for media and fans alike around Tuscaloosa.
During the season opener against Florida State, Hurts completed 10 of 18 passes for 96 yards and a touchdown. But against Fresno State the following week, he played much better, completing 14 of 18 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown and also rushing for 154 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 carries.
On Monday, Saban was asked whether he thought the coverage of Hurts was overblown, and he in turn called out the media for selling controversy.
"I think a lot of things you do are overblown, but I realize why you do it," he said. "It's your job to create news. It's our job to try to help our guys play winning football. I think different players play winning football in different ways. If you want to be critical of a guy for rushing 154 yards and think he should not do that so he can pass more, than that's up to you. You can do that if you want."
He added later: "I don't think this is any more overblown than a lot of other things you do, if you want to know the truth about it. But I kind of get it. It's not personal. I don't mind it. It's OK. I get it."
Saban and No. 1-ranked Alabama host Colorado State on Saturday before opening SEC play on Sept. 23 at Vanderbilt.