Saturday, 21 April, 2018

Meet Tua Tagovailoa, the freshman behind Alabama's national championship win

Jake Fromm Jake Fromm
Sammy Stanley | 13 January, 2018, 05:29

The win gives the Crimson Tide their fifth title since the 2009 season and first since the 2015 season.

"It is awesome. Having these fans wait for us to come home - it's a good feeling, especially after a loss like that to know we have fans that have our backs and always being there for us", said UGA player Justin Young. I don't think it's imperative that we make one right now.

The Alabama Crimson Tide are favorites to repeat as national champions next season according to Las Vegas oddsmakers. Especially since Hurts was such a visible cheerleader on the sidelines and being so supportive of Tagovailoa, it probably made it that much easier in actuality.

Saban pulled sophomore quarterback Jalen Hurts, who had started nearly every game over the last two seasons, because Hurts wasn't able to hurt Georgia with his scrambling.

A 6-yard Tagovailoa touchdown pass to freshman wide receiver Henry Ruggs III made it 13-7 with 8:52 left in the period, but Georgia responded on the following drive with an 80-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Jake Fromm to sophomore wide receiver Mecole Hardman to make it 20-7. Enter here, backup 5-star quarterback from Hawaii: Tua Tagovailoa.

The Crimson Tide never led until the final play.

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"We got the best fans ever", said UGA tight end Jordan Davis. "Making our state proud is the biggest thing".

The Bulldogs won the SEC Championship before walking off with a thrilling Rose Bowl victory. His team was now facing second-and-26, which at the time looked like second-and-forever.

It took Georgia 35 years to get into the position it was in Monday night-one win away from the national championship.

The foundation has been built in Athens for the Bulldogs to continue their path towards that elusive national championship. 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.

As good as the Alabama-Georgia game was, it's debatable whether it was more exciting than the New Year's Day national semifinal when Georgia rallied for a 54-48 overtime win over Oklahoma at the Rose Bowl. The Knights went 13-0 to cap the only flawless season in the Football Bowl Subdivision. They came together and brought it back step by step, though, taking over to win the game in overtime with a score of 26-23. Smart heads into his third season with his alma mater.

"The record-breaking audiences, over the course of multiple years, clearly reinforce how the College Football Playoff has quickly established itself as an elite event", said Burke Magnus, ESPN executive vice president, programming and scheduling.

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