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Game-by-game look at Alabama's season

13 January 2018

Saban almost became the Giants' coach two years ago, according to two different people.

Nick Saban benched Jalen Hurts, victor of 25 games in his first 27 starts, for a true freshman. Hurts was replaced by freshman Tua Tagovailoa, who led the comeback and likely will be the starter heading into next season.

But Fitzpatrick knew there was a chance something exciting could happen while he relieved himself, and the 21-year-old explained how he was able to tell the thrilling play was in the Crimson Tide's favor.

Mariota's protege and fellow Hawaii native, Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa, led the Crimson Tide to an overtime win over Georgia in the title game, throwing three TD passes in the second half, including the game victor, after coming off the bench. "Proud of him", said Mariota, according to Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.

Tagovailoa threw a pick, but made huge throws in going 14-of-24 passing for 166 yards, key runs and put to rest how good he is.

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Hurts showed once again in the biggest game he's limited as a passer.

His high school offensive coach, Ron Lee, said "He's always been confident of his mechanics but he's also very smart and knowledgeable about the kind of defensive coverages that he saw at that game". That, perhaps more than anything, tells the story of just how rare Monday night's game really was.

Tagovailoa had appeared in eight games as a backup before coming out to start the second half on Monday.

There were more impact freshmen too that helped make those guys look great. Calvin Ridley finished with 103 yards and a touchdown on three catches.

"First and foremost, I'd just like to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ".

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On the second play, Tagovailoa connected with Smith for the game-winner. The previous seven times Tagovailoa took the field, he was playing in garbage time during blowout victories.

Passas said that more than seeing Tagovailoa on national TV or throwing the game-winning TD pass, he was moved by the way Tagovailoa reacted to the win, running to embrace his family after the game. But on Thursday, Tagovailoa called out those who may be dismissing Hurts, who is 26-2 as a Bama starter, after Tag's performance. The sophomore had been 25-2 in his career, but is more unsafe with his feet than his arm, and Georgia shut down the Alabama ground game in the first half on the way to a 13-0 lead.

This time, he had to make a change right in the middle of the game at the most prominent position on the field.

It was especially troubling because Alabama's kicker, Andy Pappanastos, already had missed two previous field-goal attempts, including a shanked kick at the end of regulation that would have won the game.

If he were interested, though, it would cost the Giants $26.9 million to buy Saban out of his Alabama contract, according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.

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Game-by-game look at Alabama's season