The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Alabama Wins National Title 26-23

Posted on | January 9, 2018 | No Comments

 

Tonight I told my 19-year-old son Jeff, “You’ll tell your grandchildren about this game. You’ll tell them you watched this game with your Dad.”

It was insane. At halftime, Alabama trailed 13-0 at the half, and my older brother Kirby texted me: “It’s over.” I replied: “It’s bad.”

Our offense was anemic. Four times in the first half, Alabama was three-and-out. Another possession ended in a missed 40-year field goal try. Meanwhile, Georgia’s freshman quarterback Jake Fromm was looking like a future #1 NFL draft pick. We were doomed, but then . . . Tua.

I can’t spell his last name or pronounce it, but he won:

Tua Tagovailoa threw a 41-yard touchdown to DeVonta Smith to give No. 4 Alabama a 26-23 overtime victory against No. 3 Georgia to win the College Football Playoff national championship Monday night.
Tagovailoa entered the game at halftime, replacing a struggling Jalen Hurts, and threw three touchdown passes, including the game-ender to give the Crimson Tide its fifth national championship since 2009 under coach Nick Saban.
After Alabama kicker Andy Pappanastos missed a 37-yard field goal that would have won it for the Tide (13-1) in the final seconds of regulation, Georgia (13-2) took the lead with a 51-yard field goal from Rodrigo Blankenship in overtime.
Tagovailoa took a terrible sack on Alabama’s first play of overtime, losing 16 yards. On the next play he found Smith, another freshman, streaking down the sideline and hit him in stride for the national championship.
This game will be remembered for Saban’s decision to change quarterbacks trailing 13-0.
“I just thought we had to throw the ball, and I felt he could do it better, and he did,” Saban said.

That final touchdown — where Tua looked-off the safety and then hit Smith (also a freshman) — was a thing of beauty, and a joy forever.

This is right up there with “The Stop,” when Alabama linebacker Barry Krauss made the crucial hit that prevented a Penn State touchdown, to clinch the National Championship in the 1979 Sugar Bowl. I watched that game with my Dad, and so the Crimson Tide legacy continues.



 

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