In a showdown between two superstar young college quarterbacks, an unlikely figure won the game. For Tua Tagovailoa, it’s only the beginning.
Daily Cavalcade of Whimsy
Sorry if this take sucks, it’s not my fault …
And I thought spelling Fiutak was difficult.
And a child shall lead them
For the few days leading up to the College Football Playoff National Championship, all the Alabama types I broke bread with had the same sort of thought when it came to Jalen Hurts.
Good winner, careful with the ball, Saban loves him, but …
He’s not starting next year.
“You’re insane,” I said over and over again.
Hurts was going to win a national championship, he almost won one last year, he was going to be 27-2 as a starter, and he had that certain IT factor when it came to winning games to overcame all his shortcomings.
And then he came out and stunk it up.
Indecisive as both a runner and a passer, Hurts finished second on the team with 47 rushing yards on just six carries, but he completed just 3-of-8 passes for 21 yards.
He was missing open receivers for an offense that went nowhere.
Yes, it was a big call by Nick Saban to put in Tua Tagovailoa to take over at halftime, but it wasn’t that big a risk.
The Tide were down 13-0, and the coaching staff had to try something. Anything. The plan was to rotate the two quarterbacks and go with the hot hand, but Tagovailoa was able to just let it rip.
And that’s what the Bama media types were talking about.
Tagovailoa not only had the maturity to handle whatever was coming his way, but he added a downfield passing element that Hurts just didn’t possess.
There was a bad decision interception, and he missed on a couple of key throws, but he also connected on 14-of-24 passes for 166 yards and three scores.
But this is what got it all started.
The definition of providing a spark, all of a sudden, Alabama had an offense. Tagovailoa absolutely made a few freshman mistakes, but it was almost as if he tried making things a bit harder, just to show that nothing was impossible.
He took the big overtime sack that he absolutely couldn’t allow to happen to make it 2nd and 26.
All of a sudden, Tagovailoa looked like Aaron Rodgers with the way he looked off the safety until the final second, and then … boom – threw a perfect pass to DeVonta Smith for the national title-winner.
One half, one championship, one legendary performance.
And now, Bama has Tua, it has Najee Harris to run the ball, and it has a slew of freshman receivers for the new star quarterback to throw to.
If he wins the job.