"Thank God he found me and we're here right now".
"Jeremy left and a guy came over and started talking to them".
"We were significant this year", senior outside linebacker Davin Bellamy said.
"I hope they go undefeated this year". In any case, the play was later unveiled on Twitter, and University of Washington quarterback Jake Browning couldn't believe it. If your team loses a big game, like Georgia did on Monday, it's going to take a while to get over. The pressure alone could have gotten to Tagovailoa, not to mention the Dawg defense, led by All-American linebacker and future first-round draft pick Roquan Smith.
Washington State, which lost to Michigan State 42-17 in the Holiday Bowl, was the only team ranked in the final regular-season poll to fall out of the Top 25 after the bowl season.
In turn, Hawaii fans roared to life, taking to social media as local news outlets sent mobile alerts about one of the biggest touchdown passes in the history of Alabama - and Hawaii - football. The Tide was pushing for the fifth title under coach Saban, while Georgia's Kirby Smart was not only vying to be the first former Saban assistant to knock off the Tide, but also take the Title in year two of his head coaching campaign. With Saban, it was just so insane it worked, Tua Tagovailoa giving the Tide just the spark they needed.
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The saying "it was a tale of two halves" could not have been more true on Monday for the Crimson Tide.
Nick Saban made what may have been the gutsiest decision of his collegiate coaching career on the biggest stage. But what if a freshman can't beat out a third year player on the kickoff team but might be able to get by defensive backs like Devonta Smith did in a crucial situation?
Alabama and ESPN both have a lot to celebrate.
"I just thought we had to throw the ball", Saban said of making the change. This opinion was validated after a dominant 24-7 Cotton Bowl win over PAC 12 champion USC. We probably could have switched things up.
Tagovailoa learned - throwing a game-tying score on fourth down, with less than four minutes remaining - then stumbled again, drawing the ire of the coach who staked his season on the unproven Hawaiian.
Saban explained after the game that he felt the offense needed what Tagovailoa could provide when he chose to move away from Hurts at halftime. "He plays just like Steve Young".
For the third straight season, Alabama played a classic CFP final. The left side started cheering I knew it was us and we got the first down or we scored a touchdown. "The next step is finishing the job and winning the thing". I don't think it's imperative that we make one right now. "I only expect it to go up from here".