Alabama turned to freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and staged a dramatic national comeback in the College Football Playoff championship game. Bama quarterback Jalen Hurts could not pass the ball, and his team suffered from that throughout the game.
Tide fan, Josh Pirtle said he's proud of Tagovailoa's character. I'm proud of what we did this year - a big turnaround from year one to year two.
"So that's something we have to build on in this year's recruiting and continue to build on because we're going to lose a lot of good players who are seniors, probably have several players go out for the draft".
"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. "So I hit him, and here we are now, thank God". The drive ended in a crucial field goal from Pappanastos.
Trailing 23-20 in overtime, Tagovailoa went back to pass on Alabama's first play. Considering Alabama won by three, it's pretty safe to say every point in this game played a role. For two more plays. "That's what everybody that's here comes here to do".
Tagovailoa played in seven games prior to the title game, but most of these were limited reps.
Fromm threw for 232 yards and for a while it looked as if he was going to be the freshman star of the game, the first to true freshman to lead his team to a national title season since Jamelle Holieway for Oklahoma in 1985.
Glenn Medeiros, Saint Louis School president, said he was at a function when Tagovailoa came into the game. He was fine with different styles of play in 2014, 2015 and 2016 to accommodate his quarterbacks strengths.
"When it happened, we were just kind of in disbelief, the whole place, you know everybody was screaming and celebrating".
Some would think it would be mixed emotions for Hurts.
The University of Alabama typically holds a public celebration on campus after winning a national championship but so far nothing has been scheduled.
"The ratings were up, the game was fantastic, it was competitive", Cubelic said. "That's what we did as a team".
Before we're handing out the 2018 Heisman to Tagovailoa, we would be wise to consider what we have seen with Hurts. The low came when Tagovailoa threw a peculiar interception on what looked like a designed run call. Alabama's defense was solid against a pretty good attack. He ran them with Joe Namath dropping back throwing when people never, ever did it.
Nick Saban is beloved in Alabama, but that is not the case in the rest of the 49 states. The offensive line will be better next year, as a five-star freshman may take over at left guard and two five-star prospects - Isaiah Wilson and Cade Mays - will battle it out for the starting right tackle job. It was kicking an onside kick when no one was expecting it. When it comes to title games, Saban will not, and can not, be out-coached. He sat down a kid with those numbers and then watched as the backup from Hawaii put up all the numbers Alabama needed.
After raving about his hands, speed, route running capabilities and clutch mentality, I was able to see it all unfold for myself during a session of drills in the press box.