Tua Tagovailoa will long be remembered for coming into the second half of the National Championship Game and leading the Alabama Crimson Tide to a comeback victory over Georgia. The move to replace Jalen Hurts at quarterback may have been one of coach Nick Saban’s best, if not risky, moves in his career.
For one former SEC coach, the move to Tagovailoa came a bit later than if he were still the coach.
“I probably would have done it in the second quarter,” Steve Spurrier said on The Paul Finebaum Show. “I probably wouldn’t have waited all the way to halftime.”
Spurrier was known for a quick hook with his quarterbacks, especially during his time at Florida, but Hurts had lost only two games as a starter in two seasons: the national title game against Clemson the previous year and at Auburn to end the 2017 regular season.
Hurts had struggled mightily in the first half against the Bulldogs defense, completing just 3 passes for 21 yards and the Tide were down 13-0 with all the momentum going Georgia’s way. Tagovailoa threw for 3 touchdowns, including the game winner in overtime, while passing for 166 yards in barely over a half of play.
Spurrier might have his thoughts, but the move and timing of it worked out for Saban, who now has six national titles to his name.