Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa Impresses in First Start
Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa played like a veteran in his first career start for the Crimson Tide. With all eyes on him, Tagovailoa put up 253 total yards with three scores in the 51-14 blowout victory over Louisville.
Coming into the 2018 college football season, the nation’s No. 1 team, Alabama, was dealing with a “quarterback controversy”.
The competition was between senior quarterback Jalen Hurts, who has an impressive track record as a starter, and the National Championship hero from last season in Tua Tagovailoa.
While Hurts has experience on his side with 26 career wins and by leading Alabama to two straight title games, it’s the sophomore from Hawaii that head coach Nick Saban couldn’t resist on giving the start against Louisville in week one.
Why would a 5-time champion in Saban lean towards a player that had never started a collegiate game before Saturday? Well, it’s simple.
Tagovailoa raises Alabama’s ceiling to heights Hurts could never get the team to. Tagovailoa is the more polished passer. And the sophomore is not only the future but he’s ready to lead the nation’s No. 1 team now.
Imagine not playing all season but then being asked to start the second half of the National Championship game. For most players, that’s too much to ask for.
But for Tagovailoa, on the biggest stage in college football, that’s when he put the nation on notice.
Alabama trailed 13-0 at halftime against Georgia.
Hurts had more rushing yards (47) than passing yards (21) against the Georgia defense. It was time for a spark that Hurts couldn’t spark.
Entering in the final half, Tagovailoa recorded almost 200 total yards, threw for three scores, including the game-winning 41-yard touchdown toss in overtime.
It looked as if the Crimson Tide offense had no answer for Georgia’s defense.
Saban’s decision to enter Tagovailoa won Alabama their 17th national title.
Tagovailoa’s magic has carried over from last season to now.
After Tagovailoa’s performance on the opening weekend, there should be no doubt on who should be the full-time signal caller for the Crimson Tide despite experience and seniority.
During Alabama’s road win against the Cardinals, Tagovailoa threw for 227 yards and two touchdowns, with zero turnovers. In addition, he added another score with his legs.
Along with jaw-dropping numbers, Tagovailoa had a number of plays worthy of making SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays.
For the first score of the game, Tagovailoa was under duress but somehow managed to still find wideout Jerry Jeudy for the 11-yard touchdown. Furthermore, for the longest play of the day, Tagovailoa connected with Jaylen Waddle on a 49-yard strike that could have gone for the score if Waddle didn’t lose his footing.
The game was decided by halftime. Tagovailoa and company had the Crimson Tide up 28-0.
If Alabama hopes to repeat as champions, Tagovailoa gives Alabama them the best chance to do so.