His quarterback mentor was Marcus Mariota, a fellow Hawaiian quarterback who won the Heisman Trophy three years ago. He joins late Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant as the only coaches with five AP titles.
So 2018 begins with the kind of game and the kind of memory that we had throughout 2017. This opinion was validated after a dominant 24-7 Cotton Bowl win over PAC 12 champion USC.
Still, Tagovailoa left the locker room at halftime and completed 14-of-26 passes for 166 yards, adding another 27 yards rushing.
We saw all that, and more, before Tagovailoa had his movie moment at the end of overtime.
In overtime, essentially needing a touchdown after faith in Alabama's kicker diminished, Tagovailoa took an ill-advised sack that put the Tide in a second-and-26 situation. "He's definitely dominated his era and his time", Fisher said.
"It's not like Alabama where they're won five titles in nine years". Despite the lead only at 6-0, the problems for Alabama were also grossly apparent. Hurts finished the second half with only 21 passing yards and his 47 yards on the ground were the only thing that helped Bama get passed midfield.
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Jake Fromm will be back and challenged by Justin Fields. This more refers to the kicking game and Matthew Wright who missed two field goals against Auburn. Now the Bulldogs were back ahead, 23-20. There's plenty of coaches out there who truly are concerned with molding young men just as much as good players.
When asked where he would rank Saban's accomplishments all-time, Fisher wasn't ready to make any big declarations. Off the bench and out of the chorus.
The next play, Tagovailoa found DeVonta Smith for a 41-yard score. "I've been coached by some of the greatest coaches, coach Saban and the rest of the coaching staff and I've played with some of the greatest players, including Ronnie, the last couple of years, I've done a whole lot".
I don't know Jalen Hurts at all.
"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", Saban said of the decision. Unless he transfers to a junior college or lower division school, Hurts would have to sit out an entire season before playing for another team.
"He's good for stuff like this and he has the "it" factor", Hurts said. I did not include a Pac-12 team in my top 10 in the final Associated Press Top 25 poll. However, it was in the fourth quarter that Alabama hit high gear and started functioning at near-peak efficiency.