Throughout most of the 15 practices earlier than Alabama entered the School Soccer Playoff, Tagovailoa continued to impress with poise and potential.
“We simply all knew,” Alabama large receiver Calvin Ridley stated of Tagovailoa.
Trailing thirteen-zero to Georgia at halftime within the nationwide championship recreation in Atlanta on Monday, Saban opted to show the sport over to Tagovailoa and have become a six-time champion due to it. To the bench went two-yr starter Jalen Hurts, who delivered an uneven first half after his effort towards Clemson within the semifinals was self-described as not nice.
“I simply thought we needed to throw the ball,” Saban stated of creating the change. “I assumed he might do it higher. I feel Tua definitely gave us a spark within the second half offensively, and I feel that was one thing that helped us on protection in addition to to place some factors on the board to offer us an opportunity to win the sport.”
Tagovailoa began the second half and accomplished 14 of 24 passes for 166 yards and three touchdowns with an interception.
The transfer to Tagovailoa paid dividends on his second possession. He led a seven-play, fifty six-yard drive that ended with a 6-yard landing move to Henry Ruggs with eight:fifty two left within the third quarter. Alabama pressured additional time when Tagovailoa hit Calvin Ridley for a 7-yard landing move on a 4th-down play with three:forty nine remaining, capping its rally from a thirteen-level halftime deficit.
“This occurred as soon as earlier than at LSU, I feel in our first yr. Josh Booty was our quarterback,” Saban recalled. “We received behind Georgia Tech like 14-zero or one thing, right here in Atlanta enjoying within the Peach Bowl. I simply went in at halftime and stated Rohan Davey it’s worthwhile to go play, as a result of we’d like a spark on offense and we’d like one thing to vary. We ended up profitable the sport 28-14. Typically just a bit change of favor, a bit of spark kind of ignites everybody, and I feel that occurred within the recreation final night time. Tua will get plenty of credit score for that, however I feel his teammates’ response to him was equally essential.”
Tagovailoa additionally put the Crimson Tide into place to win the sport in regulation however Andy Pappanastos pulled a 36-yard area aim attempt broad left as time expired.
Georgia opened extra time with a subject aim after which seemed to be on the verge of placing the sport away due to a freshman mistake on first down.
Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian referred to as “Seattle” after Tagovailoa opened Alabama’s extra time possession by taking a sixteen-yard loss on a sack. The play name, from a 4-vast receiver set, requires…