Tua Tagovailoa played a vital role in clinching the championship
Atlanta’s pro-Georgia crowd went silent in the Mercedes-Benz stadium after Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa seized the chance and pushed his team into victory through an incredible performance in the second half of the game. The quarterback completed a staggering 14 out of a total of 24 passes for the 166 yards with one interception and three touchdowns. His play helped the Crimson Tide surge from two deficits, each of 13 points, during the 26 to 23 win of Alabama. Crowning his achievement was the game-winning touchdown pass of 41 yards to his team member DeVonta Smith.
Nobody could envision of such a thing happening prior to the game. Tagovailoa had not played any game recently. His last play was on November 18. He has not played against any FBS opponents as well. His last play against such an opponent was on October 21. It was thus not surprising that the freshman was the cynosure of attention after yet another national title was wrested by Crimson Tide. What’s more curious is the player from Hawaii spoke in tongues. He claimed that doing such a thing kept him calm. This was particularly useful during the extreme pressure played in the second half against the Georgia side.
For those who do not know the meaning of speaking in tongues, it is the speaking of strange words which only the speaker can comprehend. It is a component of a total religious experience. Whatever it is, it was effective. Alabama’s fans can vouch for that.
Tagovailoa has shown his brilliance in flashes before. He had smartly sidestepped the Bulldogs on cross-field scramble which converted third and nine into first down. It also was the first touchdown drive of Alabama. He also did some mistakes which almost led his team to defeat. His primary role was to clean up after Jalen Hurts, the regular starter, totted up big scores. The only exception was this time. Tagovailoa was asked to make his team a winning one, with the odds fully stacked against his team at 13-0. He has to do this within 30 minutes and in the presence of thousands of spectators. His teammates were confident of his abilities. Calvin Ridley, the Alabama receiver, said that his talent and potential exhibited itself during the summer practices.
Alabama’s football program knew that the precocious Tagovailoa is extremely talented and bold as well. If he was not on the team, it was doubtful whether Crimson Tide would have achieved the fifth national title in last nine years.