Tagovailoa leads Tide in blowout
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.