Alabama coach Nick Saban made a decision Monday that was going to be remembered forever no matter how it turned out.
Well, it turned out even better than he could have expected. After trailing 13-0 to Georgia at halftime, Saban replaced two-year starting quarterback Jalen Hurts with freshman Tua Tagovailoa.
The former 5-star standout from Hawaii did the rest.
Tagovailoa threw 3 second-half touchdown passes — including the game-winner to Devonta Smith — to bring the Crimson Tide back from two separate 13-point deficits.
After the game, Saban explained his decision to bench Hurts in favor of Tagovailoa.
“We’ve had this in our mind that if we were struggling offensively, that we would give Tua an opportunity, even in the last game,” Saban said. “No disrespect to Jalen (Hurts), but the real thought was, you know, they came into the game thinking we were going to run the ball and be able to run quarterback runs, which we made a couple of explosive plays on. But with the absence of a passing game and being able to make explosive plays and being able to convert on third down, I didn’t feel we could run the ball well enough, and I thought Tua would give us a better chance and a spark, which he certainly did.