Tua Tagovailoa struggles as Alabama loses title game 44-16

Tigers 44 Crimson Tide 16

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Tua Tagovailoa dropped back on Alabama’s third play of the game, threw in between two receivers and had the ball intercepted and returned for a touchdown.

It proved to be that kind of night for the Crimson Tide’s uber-talented quarterback, who didn’t fare nearly as well as a starter in the College Football Playoff championship game as he did a year ago in relief.

Tagovailoa threw two interceptions, was stopped on a pair of fourth-down runs and struggled mightily in the final three quarters of a 44-16 loss to No. 2 Clemson on Monday night, the most lopsided loss of coach Nick Saban’s career at Alabama.

Tagovailoa announced his arrival as a star on this stage a year ago when he came off the bench to throw three TD passes, including the game-winner in overtime to beat Georgia 26-23 for the championship in Atlanta. He followed that up with a Heisman Trophy runner-up campaign, throwing 41 TD passes and only four interceptions for the top-ranked Crimson Tide (14-1) to lead them back to the championship.

After struggling on an injured ankle before getting pulled in the SEC championship game, Tagovailoa delivered a brilliant performance in the Orange Bowl semifinal game against Oklahoma, throwing for 318 yards and four TDs with only three incompletions.

He looked to be on the way to another big game even after the early interception when he threw a 62-yard touchdown pass to Jerry Jeudy on Alabama’s second drive, followed by a 1-yarder to Hale Hentges on the next possession.

But after Alabama drove inside the Clemson 10 late in the first quarter, everything changed for the Tide. A false start by Jedrick Willis Jr. at the 1-yard line helped stall a drive that led to a field goal that gave Alabama a 16-14 lead in the opening minute of the second quarter.

The Tide didn’t score again with Tagovailoa in the game.

He threw his second interception on the next drive when he launched a deep pass into coverage and took a third-down sack the following drive when he didn’t see a cornerback blitz coming. Things then fell apart in the second half with Alabama getting stopped on a fake field goal on the opening drive when holder Mac Jones was stopped for a 2-yard loss on fourth-and-6.

Tagovailoa then was stopped short on two fourth-down runs before spending the rest of a rough night on the sideline.

He finished 22 for 34 for 295 yards.

Just Posted

Sport of axe throwing growing in Red Deer

True North Axe Throwing wants sport to be ‘Canadian version of darts’

Optimism remains for Red Deer hospital expansion

Red Deer’s incoming UCP MLAs both have been strong supporters of expansion

RDC cancels championship-winning golf program due to tight finances

Short season, small number of student golfers were also considerations

Fire investigators comb through industrial fire wreckage looking for answers

Industrial building in north Red Deer was completely gutted in Wednesday morning fire

WATCH: An ‘Eggstemely Fun Easter’ at Bower Place in Red Deer

Bower Place mall made sure Red Deer families were able to have… Continue reading

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

PARIS — A “computer glitch” may have been behind the fast-spreading fire… Continue reading

Former journalist pleads guilty to robbing two banks in Medicine Hat

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. — A former journalist arrested almost two years ago… Continue reading

Austria fears for three top climbers missing in Banff National Park

BERLIN — Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Friday his thoughts are with… Continue reading

As Vancouver fights over 4-20, Seattle’s Hempfest enjoys tolerance, some support

VANCOUVER — They both came from humble beginnings: small protests against marijuana… Continue reading

All eyes on the surging Greens as Prince Edward Island goes to the polls

After a brief provincial election campaign devoid of drama, voters on Prince… Continue reading

North Dakota company where 4 were slain seeks normalcy

MANDAN, N.D. — Camaraderie was so important for the “coffee club” at… Continue reading

Trump blasts ex-advisers who say he tried to stop Mueller

WASHINGTON — A day after celebrating the release of the Mueller report… Continue reading

Sanders claims she didn’t lie, despite Mueller finding

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s spokeswoman Sarah Sanders pushed back Friday against… Continue reading

Most Read