It is no secret that Alabama superstar quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is nursing a sore knee suffered in the win against Arkansas two weeks ago. Last Saturday against Missouri, he wore a bulky brace and the did not quite look his dynamic self. He “tweaked” his knee (which is one of Nick Saban’s favorite words to use when he doesn’t want to state what exactly happened) on a non-contact slide after a scramble and was removed from the game. Saban stated that Tagovailoa could have reentered the game but it he didn’t “think it was worth” doing.
Despite all this, the Tide was in complete control of the Mizzou game, winning 39-10 with back-up Jalen Hurts getting most of the snaps.
By all reports out of
Fort Knox Tuscaloosa this week, Tagovailoa has been practicing full-speed and the knee is fine. Las Vegas appears to believe the reports. None of the major sportsbooks have taken the game off the boards nor has the line moved any more than half a point in any direction. The unanimous belief is that Alabama should have no problem winning this game by four touchdowns regardless of who is quarterbacking the Crimson Tide.
This past spring, summer and into fall we heard ad naseum that Hurts had a 26-2 record as a starter. With him under center the last two seasons, Alabama defeated the Vols by a combined score of 94-17. Hurts has experience and a good attitude. Plus with the aid of new quarterback coach Dan Enos, Hurts might be an even better signal caller than he has been in seasons past. In short, there are few who doubt that the junior could lead the Tide to victory in Knoxville on Saturday as the starter.
So the question is:
How much should Tagovailoa play on Saturday?
If it was me, I’d sit him out and use him only if things go sour and he is needed. Nick Saban can at times be stubborn and narrow-minded about certain things (see 2017 Iron Bowl). It would be a good bet that Saban starts Tagovailoa and plays him well into the second half with Hurts getting some series here and there. This is all depending on the score of the game.
What do you think?
How much should Tua Tagovailoa play on Saturday against Tennessee?
This poll is closed
Only in emergency. Don’t risk it. With a bye next week, he can rest up for LSU November 3.
First couple of series or first quarter only.
Midway into the second quarter.
First half only, maybe the first series of the third quarter.
Deep into the game. He needs the reps.
Other, see my astute observations in the Comments section below.