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The Sideline Observer

Sports and Culture Commentary

Why Tua Tagovailoa Will Win the Heisman

Over the course of the first two weeks of the college football season I have watched a lot football. Like a whole lot of football. These past two Saturdays I have done very little other than sit my fat ass down on the couch and watch kids my own age run around and give each other CTE. This time has allowed me to make some jarring observations about the college football season.

To be fair, it’s hard to predict much going forward after the first two weeks. With so many teams playing creampuff FCS programs, it is hard to tell this early who is legit and who is bound to disappoint. But if there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will win the Heisman.  

Now I know as an Alabama fan I have a pretty clear bias, but I dare you to try and tell me that I’m wrong. Through the first two games against Louisville and Arkansas State, Tua has looked nothing short of incredible. He has shown a confident command of the offense as well as the ability to make something out of nothing.  His play has clearly separated him from Jalen Hurts in the contentious QB battle that took place for Alabama this offseason.

 

Coming into the season, Tua was greatly beloved by Alabama fans after he came in at halftime of the National Championship last year and led the Tide back from a 13-0 deficit to win the game in overtime. His game winning 41-yard touchdown throw to Devonta Smith to win the game may go down as one of the greatest plays in college football history. Even before that game, he was turning heads with his dynamic play. Since almost all of Alabama’s games were blowouts, he had many chances to play late in games and show off his skills. Last season he threw 11 touchdowns and only two interceptions, adding two scores on the ground. Pretty impressive stats for someone who didn’t start a single game.  

The personnel and talent around Tua will be a big catalyst for his success as the season progresses. Alabama may have the most explosive offense that they have had in the Nick Saban era. Tua has three talented sophomore receivers in Henry Ruggs III, Jerry Jeudy, and Devonta Smith. All three are in the same class as Tua and all have incredible chemistry with him, as can be seen from their play so far this year. Jeudy already has four touchdowns this season while Smith and Ruggs each have one.  

What will help more than anything is the four headed beast that is the Tide’s running attack. Headlined by senior superstar Damien Harris and former number one overall recruit Najee Harris, the running game has looked unstoppable this year. The scariest part about the running back corps is the depth. Behind those two studs they have Josh Jacobs and Brian Robinson Jr., who have both proven to be more than capable backs. In the opening game against Louisville Jacobs had an 18 yard touchdown run as well as a punt return TD.

Out of these four star tailbacks, none have surpassed 21 carries. With all this talent, Saban will be able to employ a committee approach to their backfield and keep every member fresh for the postseason. This running threat takes a huge amount of pressure off of Tua, giving him time to focus on his own responsibilities and not putting the fate of the entire offense in his hands.

So far this year Tua has passed for 455 yards with six touchdowns, zero interceptions and a 71.4% completion percentage through two games. Some of the plays he has made have been straight jaw dropping and his passes have looked insanely accurate. I know it’s only two weeks into the season and guaranteeing something like this so early seems a bit absurd. However, in December when Tua is in New York accepting his trophy, don’t say I didn’t warn you. This is gearing up to be a fun year for Alabama fans. As for everyone else, good luck, y’all are gonna need it. Roll Tide!

-Jake Hornyak

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