October 24, 2018

Tide was in danger of losing Tagovailoa, former OC Kiffin says

13 January 2018, 04:38 | Joann Bryant

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

This time, Alabama came up with the late-game magic to send Georgia back to its locker room empty-handed. Trailing Georgia 13-0 at halftime, however, Hurts was yanked in favor of Tua Tagovailoa, with the true freshman playing a starring role in a wild come-from-behind win as he delivered a walk-off 41-yard touchdown pass in the first overtime.

The 10-win Spartans will return as many as 21 starters, including emerging QB Brian Lewerke, and RB LJ Scott.

Then Finebaum laughed and said, "But this is the one that got him elevated to sainthood".

During the 2016-17 season, during which Alabama lost to Clemson in the College Football Playoff National Championship, Saban earned $550,000 in incentives.

"After the sack, we just got up and took it to the next play", Tagovailoa said (ESPN).

"I think coach Bryant is probably the best coach of all time because of the longevity of his tenure as a coach and the way he changed", Saban said.

So 2018 begins with the kind of game and the kind of memory that we had throughout 2017. I just love seeing Alabama fans all pumped. For the first time in recent memory, Saban was going to have a dual-threat quarterback. The freshman threw a ideal strike downfield and showed remarkable poise after Georgia sacked him for a 16-yard loss on the previous play.

But Alabama had finally figured out how to move the ball-and they did. Completions that looked easy and seamless in the first half, were dropped and swatted down in the second.

Jake Fromm will be back and challenged by Justin Fields. Now the Bulldogs were back ahead, 23-20. His coaching staff is filled with teachers who know how to get through to the best players and inspire their best efforts.

On his second drive, Tagovailoa drove 56 yards in seven plays, eclipsing Hurts' total passing yards in one drive with 44 and finding Henry Ruggs III in the end zone to make it a 13-7 game.

The lefty looked off the safety by glancing to his right, opening a one-on-one situation down the sideline for DeVonta Smith.

"We just all knew", Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley said of Tagovailoa.

And on this night, when everything worked out the way it did for Alabama, when Tua Tagovailoa threw like a champ off the bench, the guy he replaced, a kid just 19 himself, acted like one when it was over, and with such uncommon grace.

Defense needs to contain Jalen Hurts on the ground. He finished with 74 tackles, which was tied for the team lead, this season.

"He's good for stuff like this and he has the "it" factor", Hurts said. I think that we haven't really made a decision about that. Overall, he had nine interceptions and 171 tackles. However, it was in the fourth quarter that Alabama hit high gear and started functioning at near-peak efficiency.

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