Sound the alarms! Red Alert! This is not a drill! I repeat, THIS IS NOT A DRILL!
Actually, it likely is a drill, but it’s still good to be prepared.
In Alabama’s scorched-earth run to 6-0 to start the 2018 season, first-year starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has been the trigger for the most explosive offense in college football. So much so, in fact, that the true sophomore is far and away the frontrunner for the 2018 Heisman Trophy at the midway point of the season.
Wednesday, Nick Saban revealed that Tagovailoa is dealing with a sprained knee that has forced him to strap on a brace for protection. The good news, though, is that the issue doesn’t even remotely appear to be anything serious.
“[H]e’s been able to do all the work in practice, so that’s not an issue,” the head coach said. It’s not expected that the issue will have any effect whatsoever Tagovailoa’s availability for this Saturday’s home game against Missouri.
Currently, Tagovailoa leads the FBS in passing efficiency (258.4; the record for a season is Baker Mayfield‘s 198.7 a year ago), completion percentage (75.2), yards per attempt (14.8) and yards per completion (19.7). The talented Hawaiian has thrown nearly as many touchdowns (18) as he has incompletions (25) — and he’s yet to throw an interception.
Most notably, Tagovailoa hasn’t taken a single snap in the fourth quarter of any of the first six games. Otherwise, his standing in touchdown passes (tied for sixth nationally) and passing yards per game (41st, 249.2) would likely be higher, particularly the latter category.
Helping to somewhat mitigate the injury worry over Tagovailoa’s health is the presence of Jalen Hurts. Before losing his job to Tagovailoa, Hurts had helped lead the Crimson Tide to a 26-2 record as the starter. While not nearly the passer the man who took his job is, Hurts is certainly someone who could fill in more than admirably should Tagovailoa go down.