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Alex Byington | The Decatur Daily | October 14, 2018

Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa shines early, but comes up with knee injury

The SEC lives in the AP top 5

TUSCALOOSA — Tua Tagovailoa still accounted for three first-half touchdowns Saturday, but couldn't do much more after reinjuring his sprained right knee early in the third quarter.

Of course, by that point, No. 1 Alabama already had its seventh win well in hand, holding on for a 39-10 victory over Missouri in its annual homecoming game.

"Tua could've gone back in the game, he wanted to go back in the game, (but) I didn't think it was worth putting him back into the game," Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban said after the game. "He sort of tweaked his knee, the same one he sort of tweaked last week. We don't think there's any issues or problems with it."

Tagovailoa, who finished 12-of-22 passing for 265 yards and three first-half scores, struggled to get off the field after an awkward slide at the end of a 9-yard scramble on Alabama's first offensive series of the second half, and had to be helped off the field with 11:54 remaining in the third.

Tagovailoa immediately went to the team medical tent, where he stayed for roughly 7 1/2 minutes of game time and was even joined by his parents, Galu and Diane Tagovailoa.

MORE: 7 outcomes from Week 7 that could affect the CFP picture

ESPN sideline reporter Todd McShay reported Alabama personnel described Tagovailoa's status as "questionable" though made it clear that was more to do with the 20-point score differential than his injury.

With his three first-half touchdown passes, Tagovailoa became just the second SEC quarterback in the last 15 years to throw for three scores in the first half of three consecutive conference games, joining Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M.

Despite the injury, Tagovailoa continued to make his own Heisman case with his play on the field, connecting with sophomore receiver Jerry Jeudy on an 81-yard touchdown on Alabama's second play from scrimmage to take an early 7-0 lead on Mizzou just 23 seconds into the game.

Jeudy finished with three catches for 147 yards, including a 44-yard completion late in the third quarter.

That completion, thrown by junior backup quarterback Jalen Hurts, didn't result in any offensive points but led to a defensive safety after Missouri quarterback Drew Lock was sacked by Quinnen Williams in the end zone after Tide tailback Damien Harris was stuffed at the goal line on fourth-and-1 for a turnover on downs. 

This article is written by Alex Byington from The Montgomery Advertiser and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

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