Tago­v­ailoa leads Tide in blowout

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - FRONT PAGE -

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Tua Tago­v­ailoa threw five touch­down passes and ran for a score to lead No. 1 Alabama to a 52-21 vic­tory over ri­val Auburn on Satur­day.

Tago­v­ailoa and the Crim­son Tide (12-0, 8-0 SEC) took over with an ex­plo­sive third quar­ter, when the Heis­man Tro­phy con­tender threw three long touch­down passes. He’s the first Alabama player to have a hand in six TDs in a game and matched the school record with the five scor­ing passes.

Now, ’Bama heads to the SEC cham­pi­onship game against No. 5 Ge­or­gia with a guar­an­teed play­off spot on the line.

Lead­ing Auburn (7-5, 3-5) just 17-14 at half­time, Tago­v­ailoa launched the Tide into an­other SEC blowout. He was 11-of-12 pass­ing for 208 yards and four touch­downs in the sec­ond half, de­spite only play­ing one se­ries in the fourth quar­ter.

Tago­v­ailoa fin­ished 25 of 32 for 324 yards and ran for 26 yards, in­clud­ing a 7-yard touch­down and a 21-yard third-down con­ver­sion on runs.

The sec­ond-half num­bers in­cluded touch­downs of 46 yards to Jerry Jeudy, 33 to Josh Ja­cobs, 40 to DeVonta Smith and 22 to Henry Ruggs III — all ac­cu­rate strikes down­field.

The game was close un­til Tago­v­ailoa threw a pair of long TD passes in a three­minute span of the third quar­ter. The first hit Jeudy down the left side­line and the sec­ond went to Ja­cobs, who shook off a few de­fend­ers on his way to the end zone.

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