Alabama freshman quarterback who was thrown into the second half of the game led them to a wild comeback win capped off by the touchdown pass of a lifetime
- Alabama won the national championship 26-23 over Georgia in overtime after a wild comeback.
- The comeback was led by true freshman backup quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who was inserted into the game in the second half after Alabama went scoreless in the first half.
- Tagovailoa delivered, throwing the game-winning, 41-yard touchdown in overtime.
Alabama had prepared freshman quarterback Tue Tagovailoa to play in the championship game, and it paid off.
Alabama beat Georgia, 26-23, in the college football championship on Monday after inserting Tagovailoa into the game in the second half. Alabama head coach Nick Saban decided to make a change after a disastrous first half in which Alabama fell behind 13-0 and benched normal starter Jalen Hurts.
After Georgia kicked a field goal to go up 23-20 in overtime, Tagovailoa's extra period got off to a horrible start when he was sacked on the first snap for a major loss. Undeterred, he then delivered a 41-yard bomb to DeVonta Smith for the win.
Tagovailoa is a true freshman QB, but had actually gotten a good amount of experience during the season, throwing 53 pass attempts for over 400 yards, with eight touchdowns and one interception. After the game, Tagovailoa said Nick Saban approached him and Hurts at halftime and said they'd be trying something different in the second half after a scoreless first half.
Tagovailoa delivered, leading a touchdown drive on his second drive of the half. Although he threw an interception in the third quarter, the defense saved him by getting it right back on the next possession. Alabama then scored field goals on two of its next three drives before Tagovailoa delivered an equally impressive game-tying touchdown in the fourth quarter.
"He just stepped in and did this thing," Hurts said after the game of Tagovailoa. Throughout the second half of the game, Hurts could be seen cheering his teammate and encouraging him.
"He's built for stuff like this," he added.
Going into his sophomore season, Tagovailoa is now a national champion.