It’s become a yearly tradition to watch Alabama dominate opening-season games. Saturday was no different. The Tide rolled to a 51-14 win over Louisville in Orlando.
Tua Tagovailoa got the start at quarterback and he, along with a string of big-time special teams plays and a smothering defense, was more than enough to secure a win.
Tua claims the starting position
Depending on who you ask, the quarterback “competition” at Alabama hasn’t been close for a while. Some might say since January. Be that as it may, Nick Saban told reporters that both guys would see time on the field in the opener.
As it turns out, he was telling the truth.
After five straight series behind Tagovailoa that resulted in 28 points, Jalen Hurts finally got his chance. As we’ve seen with Hurts for two years now, he struggled to read through progressions and missed on opportunities to extend plays when he was forced to leave the pocket and took off running.
Tagovailoa was superb in his first start at Alabama going 12-for-16 for 227 yards and two passing touchdowns. Tagovailoa also added five rushes for 26 yards and a rushing touchdown.
It wasn’t just the sheer numbers that stood out for Tagovailoa, but his decision making, his ability to make plays on the fly, and his poise which should surprise no one who saw him in the national championship game.
Tua not only put space between himself and Hurts in this “competition,” he built a concrete wall around the position going forward.
Receiving corps will be just fine
One of the big concerns coming into this season was the absence of Calvin Ridley and his position as the go-to receiver for the offense. From the onset, DeVonta Smith and Jerry Jeudy both made big time plays that should put Tide fans at ease when wondering who takes over as a downfield threat.
Seven different receivers caught passes in the game totaling 297 yards.
Jeudy was on the receiving end of both touchdowns receptions while Smith lead the team in receptions and yards, totaling four catches for 99. Freshman wide receiver Jaylen Waddle also carried his weight showing flashes of brilliance as a receiver who could push his way into the starting lineup sooner than expected.
Speaking of Waddle…
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