Steve Spurrier questions Nick Saban's timing on inserting Tua Tagovailoa

Alabama football coach Nick Saban

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. Freshman Najee Harris led the rushers with 70 yards on 13 carries. The Tide has won 16 straight home openers.

Passas told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that Tagovailoa began attending the football camp at Saint Louis when he was just 9 years old and immediately started throwing with the senior players, including Mariota.

After giving up 333 yards and 20 first downs during the first three quarters, Alabama's defense stepped up late.

That's according to former Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, who recruited Tagovailoa to Tuscaloosa until his departure to become the head coach of Florida Atlantic in December of 2016.

Tagovailoa connected with DeVonta Smith on a 41-yard touchdown pass in overtime to lift Alabama to a 26-23 win over Georgia Monday night. The Commodores gained just 78 yards of total offense. There was a rush to be the first to usher in the demise of Nick Saban and the almighty Crimson Tide.

The delay led to a communication breakdown that left Tagovailoa confused. Isaiah Buggs turned in a team-high 10 tackles. Alabama improved to 69-11 in 80 games as the No. 1-ranked team in the AP poll since 1936.

Saban coached the Dolphins in 2005 and 2006, compiling a 15-17 record before leaving for Alabama. It pushed Saban's conference winning percentage to No. 1 in SEC history among coaches with at least five years.

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Arians, who retired after the 2017 season, told Colin Cowherd on FS1 that he wouldn't be surprised if Saban is interested in returning to the National Football League on one condition. Football fans in Hawaii are celebrating right along with Alabama fans after the national championship game.

Alabama, meanwhile, looked out of sorts throughout much of the first half. But on Thursday, Tagovailoa called out those who may be dismissing Hurts, who is 26-2 as a Bama starter, after Tag's performance.

But this game will be remembered most for his decision to change quarterbacks trailing 13-0.

"He's not going to sit for another year behind Jalen (Hurts) when he feels like he didn't get the opportunity to beat him out". Jalen Hurts was 7 of 7 for 180 yards and three touchdowns.

Alabama's Calvin Ridley tied the game with this touchdown catch. He fell in love with Alabama. The whole kicking, missing field goals. Andy Pappanastos missed a 36-yarder to send the game into overtime.

Monday's College Football Playoff national championship provided everything that college football fans wanted: a defensive battle, a comeback, overtime and an unsung hero.

While he did not account for many turnovers (one interception) and has lost two games through two years as a starter, Hurts' problems in being an effective downfield passer led to head coach Nick Saban pulling a gamble in the second half against the Bulldogs.

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