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Imagine Nick Saban’s frustrating first half in the college football National Title game. His team couldn’t move the ball and they were giving up big plays to the University of Georgia. The Bulldog defense was undaunted from the beginning. They all but shut down the run gane for Alabama, forcing quarterback Jalen Hurts into obvious passing plays. These were the situations Georgia was banking on. A ferocious pass rush pressured and hit the sophomore quarterback, giving him little time to throw. They gave up zero points and 95 yards of total offense in the first half.
Nick Saban had enough at halftime, so for the second half he have gave us a shocker. He called up the bullpen to switch quarterbacks to Tua Tagovailoa. After a punt on his initial drive, the freshman would engineer a seven-play 56-yard drive, capped off by a six-yard touchdown strike to Henry Ruggs.
Alabama finally finding plays through the air brought the deficit to six (13-7). That would be the start of a historic night in college football. The backup would lead all five of Alabama’s scoring drives on their way to a 26-23 overtime win. He came in throwing bombs downfield left and right. Every pass wasn’t crisp but boy did they travel a long distance. He even showed enough running ability to give the Georgia defense a dual threat look.
The crazy thing is nobody knew that was an option. I mean seriously, we knew for sure Jalen Hurts wouldn’t suddenly develop a rocket arm. What we didn’t know is that Saban had a secret weapon on his bench. How many analyst, writers, reporters or fans even mentioned the fact that there’s a guy on the bench with a cannon for an arm? I think we all dropped the ball on that one (shame on us). Did we think Saban would just lay down and just let Georgia beat him? The world should have known this guy had a few tricks up his sleeve.
I mean how much guts do you need to pull your starter who has all of two losses in his career for a freshman in the National Title game? Well Saban had every bit of those guts and the players to pull it off. That’s now six titles on his resume. Whether it’s recruiting, game planning, or even luck, one thing is certain..it’s all being run by a very smart dude.