So, did you go to bed early last night or did you power through and watch the College Football Playoff in its entirety?
If you managed to stay up past midnight, you were able to witness one of the greatest final plays ever to determine a National Champion as the Alabama Crimson Tide stormed back in the second half to defeat the Georgia Bulldogs 26-23 in overtime.
After watching their team trail 13-0 at the half, many Tide fans had to be extremely disappointed with how flat their team was to start the game. Quarterback Jalen Hurts looked lost, the running game was almost non-existent, and the offensive line left much to be desired.
At the half, Alabama head coach Nick Saban knew he had to make a change if his team was going to have a chance to make a comeback. That change was having true freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa start the second half.
And what a change it was.
Tagovailoa did not take long to get comfortable as he led Alabama to a third-quarter touchdown to cut Georgia’s lead to 13-7. That score did not last long as the Bulldogs quarterback Jake Fromm, who is also a freshman, connected with Mecole Hardman for an 80-yard touchdown to put the Bulldogs up 20-7 with 6:52 left in the third quarter.
After two Andy Pappanastos field goals cut the Georgia lead to 20-13, Tagovailoa kept a third-down play alive just long enough to find Alabama star receiver Calvin Ridley for a 7-yard touchdown and after Pappanastos connected on the extra point, the game was knotted 20-20 with 3:49 left in the game.
Georgia got the ball back but immediately went three-and-out and was forced to punt the ball back to the Crimson Tide. Tagovailoa, along with the help of freshman running back Najee Harris, took Alabama down the field and into field goal range.
It looked like Alabama was going to win yet another National Championship until Papanastos let the pressure get to him as he missed a 36-yard field goal as time expired, sending the game to overtime.
The Bulldogs got the ball first in overtime but Fromm took a big sack on third down, it was up to kicker Rodrigo Blankenship (and his amazing glasses) to attempt a 51-yard field goal. With all of the pressure in the world on him, Blankenship drilled the field goal to put Georgia up 23-20.
That’s when the legend of Tua Tagovailoa was born.
After being sacked for a 16-yard loss on first down, Tagolailoa kept his composure and called the next play, the play that would end up cementing him in Crimson Tide history for all time.
Watch as Tagolailoa takes the snap, looks to the right side of the field to get the safety to bite just enough, and then launches a pass in the direction of his fellow freshman, DeVonta Smith, who was steaking down the left sideline.
The rest is history.
What a game. What a finish.
Alabama does what Alabama does. pic.twitter.com/OITczvp4n1
— ESPN (@espn) January 9, 2018
Tagovailoa ended up completing 14 of 24 passes for 166 yards and three touchdowns. He also showed that he could get it done on the ground if need be as he kept the Georgia defense honest by rushing 12 times for 27 yards.