Crimson Tide start Cooper Bateman at QB

ByChris Low via ESPN logo
Sunday, September 20, 2015

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- No. 2 Alabama shook up its quarterback rotation Saturday night against No. 15 Ole Missand went with third-year sophomore Cooper Bateman as the starter.

Senior Jake Coker started the first two games, but Bateman also played in both. Alabama coach Nick Saban said following the win over Middle Tennessee last week that both players would continue to get chances and that both "need to play better."

Even though Coker didn't start against the Rebels, he did enter the game and led a 16-play drive that ended with a 9-yard touchdown pass to bring Alabama to within 17-10.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Bateman has come from the back of the pack in the Alabama quarterback battle to earn his first career start. He lined up some as a receiver during spring practice, and there was some talk that he might look to transfer.

But Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin likes Bateman's athleticism and the versatility he gives the Tide's offense.

Coker and Bateman have combined to complete 48 of 72 passes for 576 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in the Tide's first two games. Bateman has thrown just 25 career passes.