After receiving almost universal criticism for his pointed answer to a postgame question about his quarterback situation, Alabama coach Nick Saban has called and apologized to ESPN reporter Maria Taylor.

Origins podcast host James Andrew Miller first reported the phone call Sunday afternoon, less than 24 hours after the testy exchange that began with a simple question about the performances of sophomore Tua Tagovaiola and junior Jalen Hurts. ESPN confirmed the apology in a report published online.

"What answers did you have about your quarterbacks after watching them play tonight?" Taylor asked.

"I still like both guys,” Saban responded. “I think both guys are good players. I think both guys can help our team. Alright, so why do you continually get me to say something that doesn’t respect one of them?”

Taylor didn't seem rattled by the answer and moved on to another question about the offense.

Tagovailoa started, threw for 227 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 26 yards and a touchdown while playing most of the game. Hurts, last season's starter, had 70 yards passing and nine rushing as the No. 1 Crimson Tide routed Louisville.

Saban has not yet revealed his plans on how he will handle his quarterback situation the rest of the season.