Tua Tagovailoa describes what he saw on final play, what it means to be a national champion
A college football legend was born Monday night as Alabama true freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa came to the rescue and led the Crimson Tide to a miraculous win over Georgia. Not only was the Alabama offense stagnant before the freshman entered the game but he completed the final go-ahead 41-yard pass in overtime to seal the win for the Tide.
Immediately after his heroic play, Tagovailoa was asked to describe the scene by ESPN sideline reporter Maria Taylor.
Here’s the back and forth between the two:
When did you find out you were going in?
“I found out when we in the locker room. Coach brought the quarterbacks together and he made the statement: ‘Tua, you are going to start the second half. We are going to rotate the quarterbacks. See how things go.’ So it went from there.”
What went through your mind when you realized you were going to play in a national championship game?
“My parents would be mad, so excuse me but first and foremost I’d like to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, with him, all things are possible and that’s what happened tonight. It was a team effort tonight. It couldn’t have been done without the defense getting us the ball back. Oline working their butts off, receivers getting open, it was just a great team effort. They were the guys that made me look good tonight.”
What did you say after when you realized you’d have to play in overtime after the missed field goal?
“I didn’t say anything, we were going back in and just taking it a play at a time, that’s what happened.”
What does this mean, being a national champion, for you in the moment?
“In this moment, it means the world, but at the same time, all glory goes to God. I can’t describe what he’s done for me and my family. Who would have ever thought I would be here right now in this moment? I thank God for that.”
What did you see on that last play? (41-yard touchdown pass in overtime to receiver DeVonta Smith)
“They had split safeties. The safety on DeVonta’s side, the single receiver side, he tried to disguise his coverage. I tried to look him off but he stayed in the middle. Then I went back outside. It was Cover 2 on their side, they stayed on the inside so I took a shot downfield and he caught it.”