Saban did more than play Tagovailoa. When starting left tackle Jonah Williams went down Monday night, freshman Alex Leatherwood filled the void admirably.
After the Bulldogs (13-2) settled for a field goal, Tagovailoa was sacked. There he was, hopping around in a collapsing pocket, waiting and waiting and waiting before finding Calvin Ridley for the game-tying score.
Losing Barrett will be a blow, but the Buckeyes are no stranger to attrition, and with Dwayne Haskins stepping in to take his place on a full-time bases, plus the returns of running back J.K. Dobbins and defensive end Nick Bosa, things in Columbus will be just fine.
The Crimson Tide never led until the final play.
Tom Herman found his quarterback in Sam Ehlinger, and the Longhorns are only going to get better and better the as his recruits begin to find the field. Fromm, with his more limited skill set, has been better there, which is what kept Georgia in the Rose Bowl last week. That 26-23 overtime win over Georgia was nearly too much to process, even for Nick Saban, who when it was over actually sputtered "I've never been happier in my life". Georgia put Alabama on its heels during its first possession in the overtime period with Rodrigo Blankenship nailing a 51-yard field goal to the team up, 23-20. Freshman receiver DeVonta Smith had seven catches all season until he split Georgias two-deep coverage for the final 41-yard touchdown.
Alabama and Georgia fans who watched the game at The Brick said it was a close game. "It's something I've really enjoyed this year". The Crimson Tide went 14-1 previous year, losing to Clemson with one second left after Hurts' go-ahead touchdown run.
Every few years, like a new Star Wars movie or an Olympic games, college football offers up a "Game of the Century", an epic battle of two titans.
"I told him I loved him and this is what you made for".
Tua threw for more yards than anyone in the history of Hawaii high school football, breaking the record in the state championship game his senior year. "He was destined for stuff like this, built for stuff like this". The extra point drew Alabama even at 20-20. He completed seven of 11 passes for 85 yards and three touchdowns.
Unreal game. Unreal performance by a true freshman in the National Title game no less. But with the absence of a passing game and being able to make explosive plays and being able to convert on third down, I just didn't feel we could run the ball well enough, and I thought Tua would give us a better chance and a spark, which he certainly did.
Trailing 13-0 at halftime, Saban turned to Tagovailoa. Ryan hasn't played in a game, but after Monday night's he was overcome with emotion.
President Trump, who once, as a football mogul, tried to break the National Football League's hold on pro football and failed, was there for the first half.
It's not like Saban has never been shocked and disappointed in a similar manner.