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

Florence Fletcher
January 13, 2018

You've had at least a day to process what you never expected to see.

"Smitty was wide-open", Tagovailoa said.

"I called him expecting to leave him a voicemail and I think he caught me by surprise more than I ever have when he actually answered", Thomas told the Paul Finebaum Show on Wednesday. Whose only real offense in the second half was one lovely long throw from Jake Fromm to Mecole Hardman, the one that made it 20-7 at the time.

Glenn Medeiros, Saint Louis School president, said he was at a function when Tagovailoa came into the game.

"At that point you really need to force yourself to re-assess the situation", he said.

Freshman Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa led the Tide in a second-half comeback against the Georgia Bulldogs, throwing an wonderful 41-yard touchdown pass in overtime for the 26-23 win.

On the next possession, Tagovailoa looked like Fromm would have no trouble earning that distinction.

The play was a simple four verticals, where every receiver takes off. Tagovailoa, as the backup, wasn't going to be entrusted with anything more exotic than that. The ball was intercepted in Alabama territory. "[It's] hard for me to imagine what it would be like not being a part of a team", Saban said Monday.

Jalen Hurts, the two-year starter whom Tagovailoa replaced: sophomore.

That play, along with the team's strong defense, saved Alabama's season from being infamously infuriating for its fans. Tagovailoa nearly cost his team the game in overtime, taking a 16-yard sack that seemed to doom any chance Alabama had of pulling out a victory. Saban stomped down the sidelines, ripping his headset off, and screaming at no one in particular.

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He won his sixth title Monday night with an 18 year old freshman from Hawaii (Tua Tagovailoa) throwing a 41 yard touchdown pass to another true freshman from Louisiana (DeVonta Smith).

As expected, Tagovailoa made some freshman mistakes, forcing a ball that turned into an interception, taking a massive sack in overtime that backed the Tide up, out of field goal range, and put them in a 2nd-and-26.

But this game will be remembered most for his decision to change quarterbacks trailing 13-0. The Horned Frogs elevated four spots from the previous poll.

And exactly when does Alabama encounter emergency? Until then, congratulations Crimson Tide. Last week, Hurts was the Sugar Bowl offensive MVP. He finished 14 of 24 for 166 yards. He did so against the fifth-ranked defense in the nation.

The Bulldogs won the SEC Championship before walking off with a thrilling Rose Bowl victory.

It's the second-most-watched title game behind 2015, when 34 million saw Ohio State beat Oregon.

"He seems like a smart kid, so I'm wandering (sic) how his transition to the states has been as far as communication goes?" the fan wrote. "It's not just about winning the championship".

He'll even have time to prepare.

"It's definitely going to drive us to accomplish what we did here, so I think it's going to push us to do better", he said. Georgia's running game was almost shut down at every turn, as Michel and Chubb just couldn't seem to get any meaningful yards when it mattered. "Hopefully we'll be able to continue to do that in the future".

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