ATLANTA — Down double-digits in the national championship game, Alabama made a change at quarterback coming out of halftime, benching two-year starter Jalen Hurts in favor of true freshman Tua Tagovailoa.
Alabama trailed Georgia 13-0 at the time of the change. Hurts, a sophomore, had completed just 3 of 8 passes for 21 yards.
Tagovailoa was the No. 1-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the Class of 2017, according to ESPN recruiting experts. The left-hander from Honolulu, Hawaii, appeared in eight games as a backup, completing 35 of 53 passes for 470 yards with eight touchdowns and only one interception.
On his second drive of the game, the freshman led the Crimson Tide on a seven-play, 56-yard drive that culminated in a touchdown pass to Henry Ruggs III that helped pull Alabama to within six points.
Hurts started all 14 games this season, amassing 2,868 total yards and 25 touchdowns.