Tua wins Heisman by beating elite ‘D’
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Topranked Alabama clinched a perfect 12-0 start only after an anxious 30 minutes.
But the ghosts that have haunted Auburn all season against top-tier teams returned in time to see Tua Tagovailoa move a step closer to the Heisman Trophy.
Alabama’s quarterback turned on the big-play magic, throwing for four second-half touchdowns. Thanks to Auburn’s defense, he had to make a fourth-quarter cameo. But Auburn’s problems of 2018 — drops by receivers, lack of a consistent running game, a bread-andbutter offense that can’t produce big-play magic of its own — were too much to overcome.
The question facing the Tigers: Where do they go from here? A 7-5 record isn’t the expectation when your head coach, Gus Malzahn, is among the sport’s top five earners.
There is no guarantee 2019 will be any better.
Alabama’s direction, which presumably includes a return to the College Football Playoff, is more certain. Tough to argue against that.
The Heisman Trophy argument against Tagovailoa is also a strong case.
While Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray and West Virginia’s Will Grier put on one of the all-time great offensive displays in Oklahoma’s 59-56 win. Murray threw for 364 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 114 yards and a TD, while Grier passed for 539 yards and four TDs, but each defense has proved porous. Tagovailoa went off against a battle-tested Auburn defense, which still entered the week ranked No. 19 in scoring defense (19.6 points allowed per game).
His final numbers were stellar: 25 of 32 passing for 324 yards and five touchdowns, plus another score on the ground. He also has zero losses.
End of debate. The only drama left should focus on what he wears at the Dec. 8 ceremony in New York.
Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa threw for 324 yards and five TDs and ran for a TD against Auburn.