Nick Saban was so concerned about his team’s dominant
year that he begged the media to write some negative
things about the Tide’s performance just so the team
didn’t get complacent. We dutifully held off on anointing
Tua Tagovailoa so much as a player of the week until last
week, and then on the week of league championships,
another Tidesman stepped up in a way nobody could have
predicted, nor would they have believed it if it were in a
Jalen Hurts famously led the Tide most of last season
and stepped aside in the middle of having a rough game in
the National Championship game against Georgia only to
watch as his teammate Tua rallied Alabama to a comeback
overtime win over the Bulldogs. That was storybook stuff
on its own. Now in this year’s SEC title game, the Bulldogs
seemed poised for revenge, up two scores in the second
half. Tagovailoa got the Tide to within a score before he
was injured and guess who stepped into the game and
engineered the tying and then game-winning drives?
Hurts, a player many believed would have transferred after
Tagovailoa usurped his job.
Hurts was especially brilliant after entering the game
cold, converting a third down and long with a beautiful
sideline pass that kept Alabama’s tying drive alive. A tenyard
strike to Jerry Jeudy tied the game, and after an illfated
Georgia fake punt on the next possession, Hurts
navigated the short field quickly and ran in the winning
score from 15 yards out.
For the sheer poetry of it, it was a wonderful and fitting
conclusion to the season before bowl season.
PHOTO: UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA ATHLETICS
TOP PERFORMER: WEEK 1 4
JALEN HURT S , A LABAMA