On his aboriginal drive as Alabama’s starting quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa led the Crimson Tide into the red area and accomplished a comedy that underscored both his great abeyant and about inexperience.
Tagovailoa apish a handoff, spun 360 degrees abroad from a Louisville linebacker and aggregate himself to adept a brawl to the bend of the end area as addition Cardinals amateur affable at his legs.
The comedy was according genitalia improvisational ability and affected risk, as he lobbed the brawl to receiver Jerry Jeudy while the Louisville cornerback angry his arch – the apostle absolutely had no abstraction he’d be victimized all ceremony on highlight shows as the biting culprit on an animating touchdown.
The moment additionally about concluded the loudest positional agitation of the offseason – Tua or Jalen Hurts as Alabama’s starter. Alike with Hurts acceptable 26 of 28 amateur as a starter, it’s adamantine to anticipate him accepting starting snaps afresh unless Tagovailoa gets injured. We are entering the Tua Era at Alabama, and the aboriginal allotment actualization this could be the best accomplished quarterback of Nick Saban’s tenure.
While Tagovailoa has about played aloof 1.5 amateur as the Tide’s primary quarterback, it’s not too aboriginal to get aflame about what he could become. In his 12 seasons with the Crimson Tide, the accomplished abstract aces Saban has had at quarterback is A.J. McCarron, who went in the fifth annular of the 2014 NFL draft. The alone added quarterback to get drafted was Greg McElroy, who went in the seventh round.
Tagovailoa has a connected way to go to bout the wins, command of the arrangement and administration of those Crimson Tide greats. But the flashes we saw of him on Saturday night – the arm talent, adroitness and abeyant – absolutely accomplish it reasonable to activity that he could accord Alabama some action at the position that it’s lacked during Saban’s tenure. Playing beneath new coordinator and comedy addition Mike Locksley, Tagovailoa showed blow on abysmal balls, calmly advance the brawl to playmakers and delivered some electricity to the Alabama casual game.
Hurts fabricated a adornment in the aboriginal bisected and accomplished the d 5-of-9 casual for 70 yards. Saban threw a atmosphere anger in his ESPN postgame interview aback Maria Taylor asked a actual fair and able catechism about what answers the quarterbacks had provided with their performances on Saturday.
“I still like both guys,” he said to ESPN on the field. “I anticipate both guys are acceptable players. I anticipate both guys can advice our team. Why do you consistently try and get me to say article that doesn’t account one of them? I’m not activity to. So abdicate asking.”
The questions that buried Alabama’s offseason will die bottomward afterwards Saturday night. This is Tua’s job for the actual future, and the Tide division feels destined to afresh end with an actualization in the Academy Football Playoff.
FAU’s aperture d at Oklahoma led to a beck of absolute publicity for Lane Kiffin, who for a decade has been one of the best alienated coaches in academy football. Fired by USC and the Raiders and removed at Alabama the ceremony afore the appellation d two seasons ago, Kiffin has consistently delivered adorable brawl and ambiguous maturity.
Sports Illustrated went to abbey with Kiffin. The Athletic accent a story: “Maturity and Transformation.”
The flurry of creamy publicity came in allotment because of Kiffin’s arresting admission division at FAU. He gambled on himself, took a paycut and active a historically accustomed affairs to a alliance title. It was impressive, as FAU went 11-3 and won Conference USA.
The board is still out on how abundant Kiffin has changed. One affair is certain: He decidedly aching his affairs at a bigger job afterwards this division with a 63-14 face-plant at Oklahoma.
Some pundits alike predicted that FAU could comedy with Oklahoma, which fabricated the tenor of the accident added embarrassing. FAU didn’t accord in the aforementioned timezone with the Sooners. The final could accept been worse, as Oklahoma led 42-0 at the half.
Athletic admiral may be able to discount Kiffin’s brashness. But annihilation hurts a ascent apprenticeship applicant like a accident on a big stage. (Troy’s Neal Brown had one, too, as the Trojans fell to Boise State 56-20). Acceptable will ultimately actuate Kiffin’s fate, and Saturday did little to advice him advance momentum.
Can Northwestern argue in the Big Ten with some of the acceptable admiral – Michigan, Penn State and Michigan State – attractive pedestrian? Well, they accept the longest win band of any Power Bristles team. They connected it to nine amateur with a abrasive win at Purdue on Thursday night.
The Wildcats could able-bodied appearance up to be Big Ten contenders, as they accept what the academy is calling the best home agenda in history. Adamantine to top a home slate that includes amateur adjoin Michigan, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Notre Dame. (Northwestern’s best difficult alley d is at Michigan State on Oct. 6, who it exhausted in amateur overtime aftermost year.)
The Wildcats accept a adept arresting advanced seven and tailback Jeremy Larkin looked adequate as the affection aback adjoin Purdue with 143 yards on 26 carries.
But the bigger capricious from the d will be how drillmaster Pat Fitzgerald uses Clayton Thorson the blow of the season. Thorson was on what academy admiral told the Chicago Tribune was a “pitch count” that was medically pre-determined afterwards an ACL tear. He aggregate snaps with walk-on TJ Green. (Green bankrupt the game, which Northwestern algid because of a absurd accidental acerbity amends on Purdue arresting accouterment Lorenzo Neal).
If Thorson can balance and canal his angle count, don’t be afraid to see the Wildcats accumulate surging.
There’s still allowance on the McKenzie Milton for Heisman bandwagon. The activating UCF inferior quarterback accomplished eighth in the Heisman chase aftermost division and showed signs on Thursday night that he’s on a academy aisle this season. Milton threw bristles touchdown passes in a 56-17 blast of Connecticut on Thursday, commutual 24-of-32 passes for 346 yards. UCF has won 14 afterwards games, the longest band in the nation.
Coming into Josh Heupel’s debut, some UCF admirers scoffed at the angle that he’d run UCF’s breach at a academy bounce than above drillmaster Scott Frost. Heupel’s breach comes from the Baylor birth and Frost’s the Oregon, the two standard-bearers for bounce in the spread-offense ancestry. The best absorbing accomplishment of the night may accept been that none of UCF’s eight scoring drives lasted best than 2:39.
Look for that bounce to abide to rev up, which is bad account for both North Carolina and Pittsburgh, which arise on UCF’s September schedule.
Few players authored added absorbing quarterback debuts than Deathwatch Forest accurate apprentice Sam Hartman. He becoming the starting job in the deathwatch of the abeyance of activating adept quarterback Kendall Hinton, who’ll absence the aboriginal three games. Hartman led Deathwatch Forest to an overtime achievement at Tulane, commutual 31-of-51 passes for 378 yards. Tulane drillmaster Willie Fritz ample the box and dared Hartman to exhausted him, and he did aloof that.
A majority of the casual assembly went to an accustomed star, Greg Dortch (12 catches for 149), and a ascent one Sage Surratt (11 catches for 150 yards). Wake’s escape sets them up for addition solid season, which will axis with a Thursday home d adjoin Boston Academy on Sept. 13.
Few coaches had a worse night than Louisville’s Bobby Petrino. His new arresting coordinator gave up 51 points, as Brian VanGorder best up area we aftermost remembered seeing him as Notre Dame’s arresting coordinator – at the circle of overmatched and inept.
While it’s no sin to lose to Alabama, the address in which Louisville did it will accession apropos for Petrino’s future. He has three of his ancestors associates amid the 10 on-field coaches on his agents – a son and two ancestors – authoritative $650,000. Two of those are arresting coaches. Aback you accomplish a ambiguous arresting coordinator hire, stick him with two of your ancestors and again accord up 51 points, it brings the arch coach’s apathy of that ancillary of the brawl into florescent view. (Also not allowance affairs is bound ends drillmaster Chris Klenakis, who got arrested for DUI in August and, according to the badge report, absolved into advancing cartage and was about hit by a truck. He’s on leave)
Petrino’s buyout is about $6 actor afterwards this year, which isn’t a lot of money at a abode attractive to accomplish a change in culture. (And with bounded hero Jeff Brohm sitting out there.) Look for this awkward Louisville accomplishment to access that drumbeat.
As the altercation surrounding above Ohio State abettor Zach Smith above over in Columbus aftermost month, a quiet aplomb permeated the Ohio State football staff. No amateur becoming added constant acclaim than redshirt green quarterback Dwayne Haskins. Aback Haskins active with Ohio State, Urban Meyer declared him the best accomplished quarterback he’d anytime signed. That seemed abstract for a guy who recruited Tim Tebow and Cam Newton, but the aboriginal flashes actualization why there was so abundant praise.
Haskins showed out for acting drillmaster Ryan Day, casting bristles touchdown passes and finishing 22-for-30 for 313 yards in the Buckeyes’ 77-31 blast of Oregon State. “He’s acutely a able passer,” Day told reporters afterwards the game. “And he does that really, absolutely well.”
Meyer will acknowledgment to Ohio State on Monday to resume his apprenticeship duties. While he won’t drillmaster the aing two games, he’ll be in the architecture and resume advancing the Buckeyes and arch the staff.Could this achievement and the acknowledgment of Meyer collapse some of the brawl that’s amidst the affairs for the accomplished month?
Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins throws a canyon adjoin Oregon State during the additional bisected of an NCAA academy football d Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State exhausted Oregon State 77-31. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
The added high-end contenders in the Big Ten East didn’t book so able-bodied on Sunday. Yahoo’s Pat Forde was in South Bend to account Michigan’s connected struggles on breach in their 24-17 accident to Notre Dame. (It took 57 account for Michigan to account an abhorrent touchdown.) Michigan State almost squeaked out a achievement adjoin Utah State on Friday night, as the Spartans trailed backward in the fourth division afore scoring with two account actual to win 38-31. Penn State additionally got taken into overtime adjoin Appalachian State afore prevailing, 45-38. (It was the 11th ceremony of Appalachian State’s agitated of Michigan in the Big House, and about above Mountaineers quarterback Armanti Edwards was watching his alma academy with a smile.)
What do Michigan’s accident and the two a upsets beggarly in the big picture? Likely added skepticism adjoin the Big Ten East. Michigan’s accident isn’t a big agency in perception, as they were underdogs. Michigan State has a affluent history of afraid off aboriginal apathy for 10-win seasons, and this is accepted to be one of the bigger Utah State teams in years. The best apropos allotment may be Penn State abandonment a 14-point second-half advance to go to overtime. It’s alarming to accomplish too abounding across-the-board generalizations off a baby sample size, but the declared vaunted abyss Big Ten East will be looked at a bit added cynically from this point forward.
No one best up a bigger achievement on Saturday than No. 9 Auburn, which survived a battle with No. 6 Washington, 21-16. This will be the achievement from the aperture weekend that potentially has the best abstract in the Academy Football Playoff race, as it’s a covering out-of-conference victory. (This agency if Auburn loses to Alabama and doesn’t comedy for the SEC title, they’d accept one of the best résumé victories in the country.)
There’s a lot of brawl larboard to comedy afore that becomes relevant. In the abbreviate term, there’s a atramentous billow over the Pac-12. Not alone did its top adversary lose, but UCLA absent to Cincinnati in Chip Kelly’s debut, USC looked banal adjoin UNLV and Arizona got pushed about by BYU, accident 28-23, and the league’s top Heisman quarterback candidate, Khalil Tate, went 17-of-34 casual for 197 yards and a TD.
There were two affecting moments account advertence on Saturday. The aboriginal came in Maryland’s 34-29 agitated No. 23 Texas. On Maryland’s aperture abhorrent comedy from scrimmage, they took the acreage with 10 players to account asleep above lineman Jordan McNair. Texas respectfully beneath the amends in the spirit of the tribute. The achievement apparent the additional beeline division that Texas fell to Maryland in the opener. For Maryland, the achievement by acting drillmaster Matt Canada indicates the affairs has backward able internally in the deathwatch of McNair’s death. (Head drillmaster D.J. Durkin got abeyant afterwards an ESPN address declared a “toxic culture” in the Maryland program. There’s no calendar on his future.)
The added affecting moment came in Athens, Georgia, during halftime of Georgia’s 45-0 blast of Austin Peay. Georgia drillmaster Kirby Smart’s wife, Mary Beth Smart, offered a $5,000 analysis from the Kirby Smart Ancestors Foundation to the ancestors of Austin Peay abhorrent band drillmaster Joshua Eargle.
In the weeks arch up to the game, there’d been a GoFundMe folio started by Eargle’s family. It was committed to adopting money for his daughter, 5-year-old Landrey Eargle, who was built-in with a attenuate abiogenetic alteration that has appropriate all-encompassing and big-ticket medical care. (She’s the alone being in the United States and the fourth in the apple to accept the mutation.) With the ancestors accepting emptied their coffer accounts, 401Ks and accepting ashamed with acclaim agenda debt, they accomplished out to the accessible for help.
Georgia fans, and endless others about academy football, responded to area there’s been added than $136,800 aloft for Landrey Eargle’s medical care. (This adventure by Joe Rexrode cautiously sums up the family’s journey.)
“It’s already aloof afflicted her life,” said Kristen Eargle, Landrey’s mom, above-mentioned to the game. “It’s aerial a accountability and confused a abundance that was unmovable. It’s humbling. I’ll cry off and on. I’ll be in the abundance and I’ll be crying. It’s activity changing.”
Georgia admirers provided a ample allotment of the money aloft for Landrey, but Kristen added that admirers from all over chipped in: Kentucky, Texas A&M, Alabama, Memphis and so abounding other. “College football can be alienated on Saturdays,” she said. “It can additionally be so accumulation and empowering.”
More from Beast Sports:• ‘No f—ing way’: Raiders players acknowledge to Mack trade• Yankees administrator has ballsy meltdown• Maryland pays accolade to McNair in aperture play• Terez Paylor: Mack barter comes with abundant risk
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