41-Yard Walk-Off Touchdown In OT Gives Alabama National Championship Over Georgia

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

After scoring as many points as the University of Central Florida in the first half of the national championship against the Georgia Bulldogs, Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban did the unthinkable: He removed starting quarterback Jalen Hurts for a freshman who hadn’t played in nearly two months.

It worked perfectly.

Tua Tagovailoa completed 14 of 24 passes for 166 yards after his insertion. He also tossed three touchdowns; the audio for the third might as well be the new official state song. Trailing by three and having taken a 16-yard sack on first down in overtime, Tagovailoa connected with wide receiver DeVonta Smith for a walk-off 41-yard touchdown that will forever run on a loop in the Bulldogs’ nightmares.

Poor camera dude.

“They had split safeties,” Tagovailoa said of the game-winning play after the 26-23 victory. “The safety on DeVonta’s side, on the single receiver’s side, he tried to disguise his coverage. I tried to look him off, he stayed in the middle, then I went back outside. It was Cover 2 on their side, but he stayed inside, so I took a shot downfield and he caught it.”

Before the extra period, Tagovailoa tied things up on fourth-and-4 at the Georgia seven-yard line with under four minutes remaining, finding Damien Harris sliding across the end zone.

The man from Hawaii didn’t even have a Wikipedia page until midway through the third quarter.

This guy will never spend a nickel on alcohol in Tuscaloosa again. You know, when he’s legally allowed to drink.