Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban won his fifth national title with Alabama last night, and this one will be remembered for his bold decision to replace starting quarterback Jalen Hurts with a freshman southpaw named Tua Tagovailoa, who had only seen action in the regular season when the Tide were way ahead in a game, with nothing on the line, so he was thrust pretty quickly into the spotlight of a nationally televised championship game played in front of more than 75,000 fans in Atlanta when Saban chose to roll the dice.
The game came down to a dramatic, almost-unbelievable final play, in which Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa found receiver DeVonta Smith in the end zone. Hurts finishes his true sophomore season completing 60.6 percent of his passes for 2,081 yards, 17 touchdowns, and one pick to go with 855 rushing yards and eight scores.
Wow! That's really all I could say following the National Championship Game victory by Alabama last night.
"We have to do something", Saban said at halftime after Alabama was stonewalled by Georgia's defense. From getting to his second and third reads in a progression to displaying better judgment when the defense wins (throwing the ball away when his primary and secondary defenders are covered), he has a long way to go before we can anoint him as the top quarterback prospect in the 2020 or 2021 class.
Add in his national championship from the 2003 season with LSU, and Saban is now tied with Bryant for the most national titles by a single head coach.
But after Tagovailoa's performance, it will be interesting to see who gets the first team reps going into Spring ball if both players choose to stay in Tuscaloosa.
Alabama 26, Georgia 23 seemed like an improbable outcome when the Tide trailed 13-0 at halftime. Each touchdown played a pivotal role in the Crimson Tide's comeback.
From his unflappable confidence, poise and composure to his pinpoint passing skills in the pocket or on the move, I feel like I saw much the same when I watched Wilson play at N.C. State and Wisconsin several years ago.
Then it was the game-tying touchdown to Calvin Ridley, a Monarch High alumnus, with 3:49 left in regulation.
It appears that only time will tell what happens with Alabama's quarterback situation.
"We needed a spark on offense", Saban said.
So, Patrick asked, Tagovailoa would leave if Saban didn't make the switch? I think that we haven't really made a decision about that.