Alabama's Nick Saban Says Tua Tagovailoa Remains Game-Time Decision vs. LSU

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 8, 2019

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (13) during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Tennessee, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)
Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

Alabama head coach Nick Saban reasserted Friday that quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is a game-time decision for Saturday's clash with LSU.

According to Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports, Saban provided a positive update on Tagovailoa, who missed the Crimson Tide's 48-7 win over Arkansas two weeks ago: "Has short-area quickness. Can play well in the pocket. It hasn't affected his throwing at all."

Alabama had a bye last week, giving Tagovailoa more time to heal ahead of Saturday's game, which will pit the No. 3 Crimson Tide against the No. 2 Tigers.

Both teams are 8-0, and the game will have a major impact on the SEC title race as well as the College Football Playoff picture.

On Wednesday, Saban told ESPN'sĀ Chris LowĀ there is a "good chance" Tagovailoa will play Saturday. Tagovailoa underwent "tight-rope" surgery Oct. 20 after suffering a right high ankle sprain.

He had the same procedure on his left ankle last year after being injured in the SEC Championship Game against Georgia. He returned to play against Oklahoma in the CFP semifinal less than one month later.

Amid uncertainty regarding his status, Alabama is a six-point favorite at home, according toĀ Caesars. That number could tilt in LSU's favor if it is determined that Tagovailoa can't go.

Even if he does play, it is uncertain how mobile he will be, which is generally a big part of his game. He will also be tasked with going score for score with Heisman Trophy front-runner Joe Burrow, who has thrown for 2,805 yards, 30 touchdowns and just four interceptions through eight games.

Tagovailoa is having a big year in his own right with 2,166 yards, 27 touchdowns and two interceptions. He could return to the Heisman driver's seat with a win over Burrow and the Tigers.

If Tagovailoa is ruled out Saturday, sophomore Mac Jones will get the start for the Tide after throwing for 235 yards, three touchdowns and no picks against Arkansas.