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Alabama is about to experience life without Tua Tagovailoa — at least for one game.

For the first time in two seasons, the top-ranked Crimson Tide are preparing for a game with somebody other than Tagovailoa leading the offense. Mac Jones will take the reins Saturday night against Arkansas while Tagovailoa recovers from a high ankle sprain that sidelined him for much of the Tennessee game.

“We’ve got a lot of confidence in Mac,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said Monday. “With a week of preparation, I think he’ll do a lot better in this game.”

With Alabama favored by 33 points over the Razorbacks, the big question is, will Tagovailoa be back in time for the Nov. 9 game against No. 2 LSU as he pledged to teammates after the Tennessee game ? There is an open date in between games and Tagovailoa is familiar with the recovery process from the procedure he had done on Sunday.

It’s the same injury he suffered in the SEC championship game last season, except to the other ankle.

“There’s no real timetable for his return, but the expectation is he will be non-weight bearing for several days and then he’ll be able to come back as his rehab allows him,” Saban said. “We’re hopeful that in a 10-day period, he’ll be back being able to do active-type rehab, and we’ll see how it goes from there. But these things are pretty unpredictable at this point.”

Retired coach ‘doing fine’

Former Georgia and Miami coach Mark Richt tweeted Monday that he is recovering from a heart attack.

The 59-year-old Richt is working as a studio analyst for the ACC Network.

Richt spent the past three seasons as Miami coach before surprisingly retiring from his alma mater. Before that he had coached Georgia for 15 years.

“I am assuming word travels fast,” Richt posted. “So I wanted to be able to inform everyone that I did have a heart attack this morning. I am doing fine. As I went through the experience I had peace knowing I was going to heaven but I was going to miss my wife. I plan to be at work this week.”

RB not with Huskers’

Nebraska running back Maurice Washington is not with the team and won’t play in the Cornhuskers’ home game against Indiana on Saturday.

Coach Scott Frost announced Washington’s status Monday, stopping short of calling it a suspension. Frost said he didn’t see Washington being part of the team’s plans in the “immediate future.”

Washington has been held out of the first halves of two games for disciplinary reasons. Frost didn’t give a reason for Washington’s absence, saying only that players are expected to meet certain standards in order to play. Frost said Washington’s absence is not related to child pornography charges he faces in California.

Hoosiers chase 6th win

At Indiana, the countdown is in full swing.

The Hoosiers have chalked up five wins in five consecutive seasons for the second time ever, and now they have five chances to get their elusive sixth win for the first time since 2017.

But inside the locker room, nobody’s talking about numbers.

“We’ll be asked about it, we talked about it this morning in that regard,” coach Tom Allen said during his weekly news conference. “But it’s about having a focus — that’s the mental toughness it takes to be great in our program.”

Extra point

Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt is mum on the status of Brian Maurer for Saturday’s game with South Carolina after the freshman quarterback suffered concussions in back-to-back weeks.

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