ESPN’s Maria Taylor and Alabama football coach Nick Saban found themselves trending on social media following the No. 1 Crimson Tide’s shellacking of Louisville in the season-opener on Saturday, Sept. 1. Taylor had asked Saban a question about the team’s ongoing quarterback controversy involving Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts when the head coach snapped.
Saban did not take kindly to the constant barrage of questions about his team’s signal-callers and let it be known.
“Well, I still like both guys,” Saban told Taylor during the interview (which you can see here). “I think both guys are good players. I think both guys can help our team, alright? So, why do you continually try to get me to say something that doesn’t respect one of them? I’m not going to. So quit asking!”
Since the interview, people have called out Saban for the way he handled the interview, while Taylor was nothing but class as she listened to the coach speak.
And following the interview, she continued to show that she was unbothered.
“Don’t mind me…Just doing my job. On to the next game. See you at @VT_Football at @FSUFootball,” she wrote on Twitter.
— Maria Taylor (@MariaTaylor) September 2, 2018
Taylor also received support from ESPN colleague Chris Fowler.
“Excellent colleague @MariaTaylor7 asked a fair QB question of Saban – which he must have misinterpreted – and he blew his stack. Unwarranted. It’s a cumulative thing, but NO intent to ‘disrespect’ Hurts,” he wrote. “May be a long, uncomfortable year of press conferences in T-town!”
Leading up to the start of the new year for the defending College Football Playoff National Champions, there were questions about which quarterback would start for Saban’s squad and it didn’t take long to learn that sophomore Tua Tagovailoa was the new leader of the Crimson Tide offense.
Tagovailoa threw for 227 yards and two touchdowns, and added a touchdown on the ground, while Hurts threw for just 70 yards and added 9 yards rushing.
Next up for the Crimson Tide is their first official home game of the year after opening up the 2018 campaign at a neutral site. Alabama is set to face Arkansas State on Saturday, Sept. 8 at Bryant-Denny Stadium with kickoff set for 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2.