Tua Tagovailoa hasn’t produced a so-called Heisman moment this season.
He didn’t have one in the Southeastern Conference championship game. Hurt and not quite himself, the Alabama quarterback was sidelined for the climactic final minutes of the top-ranked Crimson Tide’s comeback, 35-28 win Saturday over No. 6 Georgia in Atlanta.
So Tagovailoa, hampered by a high ankle sprain, didn’t produce a defining play or performance in the biggest game of a season that Alabama has mostly dominated.
To Tagovailoa’s teammates, that shouldn’t matter.
Though obviously somewhat biased, they may be right.
He was among the Heisman finalists announced Monday evening, along with Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray and Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins.
“Tua’s the best football player in the country,” Alabama tailback Damien Harris said after the title game. “I don’t think he needs a Heisman moment. That’s some made-up thing, criteria, that people have invented to try to get people an award if they necessarily deserve it or not.”
Tagovailoa started 2018 with a Heisman moment — just in a different season.
The second-half comeback and winning, 41-yard touchdown pass to DeVonta Smith in overtime just happened to come at the end of last season in the national title game.
Tagovailoa followed by delivering possibly the most dominating season of any quarterback at Alabama, which has never had a Heisman winner at the position. He was named AP’s SEC offensive player of the year on Monday and was a unanimous pick as the first-team quarterback.
Louisville has tabbed Appalachian State’s Scott Satterfield to be the Cardinals’ next head football coach.
... Liberty coach Turner Gill, 56, is retiring after finishing 6-6 in his seventh season with the team.
... Massachusetts hired Florida State offensive coordinator Walt Bell as its new head coach.