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Crimson Tide voices support for QB Jalen Hurts ahead of Sugar Bowl

NEW ORLEANS - The Alabama Crimson Tide offense took center stage in New Orleans on Thursday. Coordinator Brian Daboll and his player reps answered questions about the upcoming Sugar Bowl matchup with Clemson.

This time last year we were hearing from quarterback Jalen Hurts for the first time. Nick Saban doesn't let freshman talk to the media during the regular season, but now Hurts is a veteran on the team, and more comfortable going through the whole bowl game process.

For most of the 18-plus minutes he was on the dais Thursday inside the New Orleans Downtown Marriott, Jalen Hurts sidestepped the barrage of questions he was asked much like the pass rushers he has evaded throughout his college career.

Hurts struggled in the Iron Bowl last month, throwing for 177 yards and just couldn't keep the offense on schedule.

One reporter asked how he's handled the recent torrent of criticism surging towards him.

"Guys in this organization, everybody inside the building, everybody that is part of the Crimson Tide family, we all understand," Hurts answered. "We all know what's going on and anybody else who says something is pretty much irrelevant to us."

Hurts' poor performance gave ammunition to critics but his strongest supporters to rush to his defense.

"I think it's kind of ridiculous people have anything to say about him negatively," said running back Damien Harris. "My question would be, "What more would you want him to do?"

Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll's response?

Not much.

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