Georgia's talent level is so strong that when a player, even a star, leaves, the next player won't be that big of a drop off.
But remember, Saban had to win his six national championships in a much tougher era than Bryant, who captured three in the 1960s when there were no scholarship limitations and his '73 title was split among the major wire services with Notre Dame. The story ends with another national championship for Alabama, but the partnership between Saban and Tagovailoa immediately becomes the front-page storyline for 2018.
For Tua Tagovailoa, his chance came on college football's biggest stage, when Alabama coach Nick Saban decided at halftime to replace quarterback Jalen Hurts with his freshman from Hawaii, a guy who had been offered a scholarship only after Jake Fromm flipped his commitment to Georgia. So, you know, thank God for that, and I'd just like to thank my teammates and coach Saban for giving me the opportunity.
Thompson took over for the Bulldogs in Starkville when Fitzgerald went down with a broken ankle against Ole Miss. But it was a reminder that the state of Alabama needs to be just as adamant about success.
Senior outside linebacker Davin Bellamy says that the program is definitely in a better position than it was in the previous seasons.
Alabama's thrilling national football championship victory over Georgia drew 28.4 million viewers to ESPN on Monday night, the Nielsen company said. He ran right and, with three Georgia defenders around him, reversed field and scampered for a first down on the TD drive.
Alabama's newfound spark was briefly extinguished. It appeared that Fromm was on his way to becoming the first true freshman quarterback to lead a team to a national championship since Oklahoma's Jamelle Holieway in 1985.
So much for the notion that Alabama doesn't play freshman. Plus, with the way Tua Tagovailoa played against Georgia, the Tide may have the best quarterback in the country next season, making Alabama the team to beat.
He finished 14 for 24 for 166 yards. Teammates exchanged hugs, some having stripped off their jerseys for the final time.
The Alabama dynasty continued, but Smart said Georgia will contend for more titles. Tagovailoa was forced to scramble to escape pressure.
But in this game, 'Bama played as the underdog in the second half, trailing 13-0 at halftime. Was he aiming for Ridley? "Tua probably couldn't have thrown that pass if I could have gotten ahold of him after the sack", Saban said afterward, "but I couldn't get out there fast enough".
Admittedly, the above claim could be challenged by other schools, Pittsburgh would be one example.
Alabama 26, Georgia 23 in OT wasn't just another title fresh off the assembly line. He allows himself far less time to celebrate actually winning titles, even ones as dramatic as this one. I'm a leader, and that's what leaders do. Tagovailoa passed and ran the Tide to its first score of the game, a 6-yard touchdown to freshman Henry Ruggs III. After Georgia kicked a field goal on its first overtime possession, the Crimson Tide connected on a game-winning 41-yard touchdown pass to capture their fifth national championship in nine years.
This stunning finish, particularly how it unfolded, ends any discussion about Saban's place in the college football coaching pantheon. The no-nonsense, methodical, process-driven perfectionist who has run the rest of college football into the ground since 2007. Organizers of the Rose Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Fiesta Bowl and Peach Bowl would love it.
"'Ball. Play your game".
Key play: The false start on Andy Pappanastos' 35-yard field goal negated a kick right down the middle.
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