Nick Saban reveals ‘huge issue’ leading to bad snaps in Alabama’s crushing loss to Michigan

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The final play of the Alabama-Michigan College Football Playoff Semifinal is still a hot topic, as it ended with Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Milroe nosediving into his offensive line on fourth-and-goal to lose in overtime. 

Seth McLaughlin is at the center of the argument, literally, as he botched the snap to Milroe, who caught it at his shoelaces and seemingly panicked, knowing the Crimson Tide needed a score and and extra point to keep the season alive. 

McLaughlin botched snaps in the second half, too, which led to many ridiculing him as it has been an issue for the Crimson Tide all season. 


Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman Seth McLaughlin, #56, prepared to hike the football during the college football SEC Championship game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs on Dec. 2, 2023 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. (David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban, making his weekly appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show,” discussed the snapping troubles, especially on the final play. 

“It wasn’t a great snap. It was a low, shoelace snap. Which now you don’t have your eyes up. It makes it harder to make those kind of cuts.”


Replay showed Milroe having a wide open lane to his left created by an offensive lineman pulling over to that side. However, he simply sprinted right into his line, and the Wolverines celebrated as Milroe was taken down almost immediately. 

Saban, though, pointed to a “huge issue” that he says contributed to the bad snaps.

Nick Saban ponders in thought

Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban walks onto the field before the CFP Semifinal Rose Bowl Game against the Michigan Wolverines at Rose Bowl Stadium on Jan. 1, 2024 in Pasadena, California. (Ryan Kang/Getty Images)

McLaughlin thought he was hearing Milroe clap, indicating to snap the ball. 

“But our center was thinking that somebody was making a noise that sounded like clapping,” Saban said. “And he was snapping the ball early sometimes and when we weren’t ready sometimes. That’s a huge issue for our quarterback.”

However, Saban did not deny the fact that Milroe and McLaughlin had not been on the same page all season, with bad snaps and miscommunication during games. Saban also noted that he and McLaughlin discussed the snaps after the Rose Bowl. 

Nick Saban stares on field

Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban runs off the field at halftime during the CFP Semifinal Rose Bowl Game against the Michigan Wolverines at Rose Bowl Stadium on Jan. 1, 2024 in Pasadena, California. (Ryan Kang/Getty Images)


McLaughlin, who was on the Rimington Trophy watch list before the start of the season, (the award for best center in the nation), is reportedly set to leave Alabama and enter the transfer portal. 

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