football-fbs flag

Daniel Wilco | NCAA.com | December 2, 2018

Alabama vs. Georgia: Jalen Hurts completes miracle comeback to lead Crimson Tide to SEC Championship

CFP Selections: Who's in?

Alabama trails Georgia in the second half of a championship game before the Crimson Tide’s backup quarterback takes over and orchestrates a comeback win. Where have we seen this before?

Last year, in the College Football Playoff championship, it was Tua Tagovailoa coming in to replace Jalen Hurts — who had struggled to start the game — and throwing three touchdowns to overcome a 13-0 deficit and win the title.

RELATED: Full FBS scoreboard | Final CFP rankings predictions

This year, in the SEC championship, it was Hurts on to replace an injured Tagovailoa. The former starter — who decided not to transfer from Alabama after being replaced in the depth chart this offseason — came on with 11:07 left in the game, trailing 28-21, and led two straight touchdown drives to give the Crimson Tide the 35-28 lead and their eighth SEC championship, breaking the tie with Florida for the most in the conference’s history.

"I honestly didn't know what to think," said Hurts of entering the game for Tagovailoa. "All year, I've been waiting on my opportunity."

That opportunity came Saturday, and Hurts capitalized. In just over 11 minutes of play, the junior was 7-for-9 for 82 yards and a touchdown, while rushing five times for 28 yards and another score.

That second touchdown came after a very questionable call by Georgia to attempt a fake punt with three minutes left in a tied game. Alabama snuffed out the play and took over on its own 48-yard line. Five plays later, Hurts ran it in from 15 yards out to take the lead.

While it was the injury that eventually forced him out of the game, Tagovailoa struggled early in the game, throwing two interceptions for the first time all season. His uncharacteristic performance mirrored that of the Crimson Tide as a whole, as Alabama looked out of sorts in the first half, dropping wide open passes, completely missing coverage assignments, even running into the kicker to give Georgia an extra possession.

It didn't help that Tagovailoa suffered multiple minor leg injuries early, entering the medical tent on more than one occasion. But he pressed on until the fourth quarter, when an offensive lineman stepped on his ankle, sending him off for good and queuing  up the miracle storyline.

After Hurts barreled in for the go-ahead score, Tagovailoa — injured legs and all — rushed to meet him on the sidelines and celebrate. It was a complete flip of the script from last season, with one important constant — Alabama on top.

2019 SEC football schedule: Game times, TV channels for every week

The 2019 SEC football season starts Saturday, Aug. 24 and goes through the SEC Championship Game on December 7. Get the full schedule, including TV channels, here.
READ MORE

Track the college baseball stars in the Cape Cod Baseball League All Star Game and Home Run Derby lineup

The Cape Cod Baseball League All-Star Game and Home Run Derby are set for Sunday, July July 21. Here are the East and West Division lineups and Home Run Derby lineup full of college baseball's best and brightest stars.
READ MORE

Nick Saban talks Alabama football, Tua Tagovailoa at SEC media days

After a loss to Clemson in the College Football Playoff national championship, Alabama head coach Nick Saban was back at the podium during SEC media days on Wednesday to discuss the Crimson Tide's upcoming season. We have the full transcript of everything he said below. 
READ MORE

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from NCAA.com and our partners