Tuesday, 24 April, 2018


Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa defends Jalen Hurts in wake of fan hate

Tua Tagovailoa Mark J. Rebilas | USA TODAY Sports Images The Hawaii native came off the bench in the second half to lead the Tide to a overtime win over Georgia
Patty Aguilar | 13 January, 2018, 08:30

This time, it was all about the coach. You can now listen to Chat Sports' College Football Podcast on iTunes and Google Play!

But fresh off earning his fifth National Championship with the Crimson Tide, what else does Saban have to prove at the college level?

The move from Jalen Hurts to Tua Tagovailoa was a gamble that paid off with a national championship trophy.

Hurts struggled in the title game by going just 3 of 8 for 21 yards before he was benched in favor of Tagovailoa.

He provided an immediate spark and led four second half scoring drives - and it would have been five if not for Andy Pappanastos missing what would have been a game-winning field goal as time expired in the fourth quarter. That unsung hero was Alabama freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. They combined for 318 yards, highlighted by Johnson's late 63-yard throw to Jacquez Green an an audibled curl-and-go. Then, during the game itself, Kiffin got on Twitter and criticized Saban's play-calling. "No disrespect to Jalen, but". I would have put the guy in different situations, you know, just like we did the year before.

It was especially troubling because Alabama's kicker, Andy Pappanastos, already had missed two previous field-goal attempts, including a shanked kick at the end of regulation that would have won the game.

Jake Fromm, the quarterback for Georgia, is an incredible young athlete with a bright future.

After all, it was Saban's witness that brought Tagovailoa to Alabama in the first place. His 41-yard touchdown pass to DeVonta Smith in overtime was the difference. If it was the right side, that means it was Georgia and I had to go out on the field and go out on defense.

In beating Georgia, which was on the brink of its first national title since 1980, Alabama unveiled its next crop of stars. It was a decision many coaches wouldn't have had that guts to make in the heat of the moment.

One of Bryant's titles comes with a huge asterisk.

There is going to be some coaching turnover.

Another feather in Saban's cap is the way he's won his championships.

Three Thompson touchdowns on the ground produced 18 of those points as he scored from 14, 2 and 1 yards out. He stepped up when his team needed him - that's what he does.

But he will probably think twice next time he has to make a bathroom run.

The win was a big one for Saban's legacy.

"It's not just about winning a championship", he said. "It has to be a team ball".

"The fact that Saban could tie Bryant, he said, was "so historically significant that you need to play it straight". I'm proud of him.

If you didn't watch the game, or fell asleep before the second half, I'll give a brief recap. Arians admitted that it wouldn't surprise him if Saban, 66, were to go to the NFL.

"I could not believe it".

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