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Alabama to start Blake Sims at quarterback vs. West Virginia

The Tide will roll with Blake Sims to start, but backup Jacob Coker should also play. (USATSI)
The Tide will roll with Blake Sims to start, but backup Jacob Coker should also play. (USATSI)

ATLANTA -- Blake Sims will be Alabama's starting quarterback on Saturday against West Virginia barring any unexpected last-minute changes, according to a source. Touted FSU transfer Jacob Coker will be the backup but is expected to play against the Mountaineers.

This is considered an open audition and both quarterbacks will have their chances to strengthen their case in the Georgia Dome.

CBSSports.com reported Tuesday that Alabama planned to use two quarterbacks similarly to 2011, when starter A.J. McCarron split time with Phillip Sims.

Blake Sims, a fifth-year senior (and no relation to Phillip Sims), has completed 23 of 39 passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns as McCarron's primary backup. Sims had a good fall camp but Coker might be a better long-term fit for Alabama's pro-style system.

Sims is a talented runner, so offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin could find creative ways to use him in the Tide's rushing attack.

Jeremy Fowler is a national college football insider with CBSSports.com. Fowler joined CBS in 2012 after covering the Minnesota Vikings for the St. Paul Pioneer Press for two seasons and covering the Florida Gators for the Orlando Sentinel for two years. Fowler is also a contributor to the CBS Sports Network.
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