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Does Alabama Have a QB Controversy On Their Hands?

Alabama Football

After a wild second half comeback in the national championship game, this will be an interesting spring in Tuscaloosa. Jalen Hurts has been the permanent play caller for the Crimson Tide, but he’s now got some competition. Tua Tagovailoa came in and did what many true freshman could do. He brought the Alabama offense to life in the second half to pull off what can be debated as one of the greatest comebacks in college football history. With the 2017 season over and done with, Nick Saban now faces a new season and a dilemma. Who will be Alabama’s starting quarterback next season?

It will be a tough decision and Tagovailoa definitely has a case amongst the fans. He came into the biggest game of his career and took control. He was able to be effective in an offense that did virtually nothing in the first half. Not only did Tua bring the offense to life, but that energy also fired the Tide up defensively. Tagovailoa went 14 for 24, 166 yards, and 3 touchdowns. With the most important one being a 41-yard touchdown pass to DaVonta Smith to win the game in overtime. It’s even more impressive with Alabama facing a 2nd and 26 after a 16-yard loss. He looked impressive in the national championship game, but is that enough to give him the starting role over Hurts?

Making the case for Tagovailoa:

Executing a great comeback certainly gets everyone’s attention, but that isn’t Tua’s first game with the Tide. He played in eight games this season and has shown a lot of promise even before the national championship game. In 77 attempts, Tagovailoa completed 63.6 percent of his passes for 636 yards. Add in 11 touchdowns to just 2 interceptions and one can see that he exhibits a good degree of accuracy when throwing the ball. He has good mobility as well, averaging 4.9 yards per carry on 27 attempts. And he’s a southpaw. That can make it difficult for defenses to read his passes.

Why Hurts Should Start for Alabama Next Season?

The first reason is pretty simple. 25-2 as a starter for the Crimson Tide. His numbers aren’t bad and he’s been a spark for the Alabama offense. Hurts threw 17 touchdowns and just one interception this past season. His 855 yards and 8 touchdowns on the ground still make him a dangerous player under center. Another plus with Hurts is his experience. Being the starter now for two full seasons has to carry weight when Saban makes his decision.

Overall, I still think that Jalen Hurts gets the nod over Tua Tagovailoa. Hurts has done so much in his two seasons at Alabama and shouldn’t be thrown to the side for one game. Plus, you have to consider the fact that Georgia prepared for Hurts and not Tagovailoa. The Bulldogs couldn’t make the transition defensively to the lefty. It was like they knew absolutely nothing about him. That’s going to change next season. We know he can come in and perform to highest level on the fly, but can he do that once teams properly scout and prepare for him?

I don’t know what will happen this spring or summer, but it is a dilemma. However, it’s a dilemma that Saban can definitely use to his advantage. Platooning the two young prodigy quarterbacks is another option. Both Hurts and Tagovailoa are explosive and bring a ton of energy to the offense. It’s a situation that will give defensive coordinators nightmares in 2018. It’s also a dilemma that any college football coach would welcome.