Jalen Hurts Benched for Tua Tagovailoa for 2nd Half of CFP Championship

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2018

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 23:  Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide carries the ball during a game against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Vanderbilt Stadium on September 23, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)
Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images

Down 13-0 at halftime of the CFP National Championship, Alabama has made a quarterback change.

Freshman Tua Tagovailoa entered the game in place of Jalen Hurts, who had started every game this season for the Crimson Tide. He was also the starter last year while leading the team to the national title game.

Hurts had struggled against the Georgia defense in the first half, totaling just 21 passing yards on 3-of-8 passing. He did rush for 47 yards on six attempts, including a 31-yarder.

Tagovailoa has played well when given an opportunity but has only seen limited playing time during his freshman season. He entered the day 35-of-53 for 470 yards, eight touchdowns and only one interception.

He has seen virtually no high-pressure situations, as Heather Dinich of ESPN noted:

Heather Dinich @CFBHeather

This is the first time Tua Tagovailoa has played with Alabama NOT leading by double digits this season. Hmm ....

The young player last saw game action on Nov. 18 against Mercer, a game the Crimson Tide won 56-0. He will now try to help lead his team in a come-from-behind victory in the national title game against the No. 4 scoring defense in college football.

Tagovailoa joined the program with a lot of hype, ranked the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the 2017 class by 247Sports. The 5-star recruit was considered the No. 32 player overall in the country.

This is apparently enough for the coaching staff to make the halftime switch over Hurts, who is 25-2 in his career as a starter.


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