- Alabama beat Georgia, 26-23, in the college football championship on Monday.
- Alabama freshman backup quarterback Tua Tagovailoa led the team to the win, sparking a comeback after being inserted into the game in the second half.
- After the game, starting quarterback Jalen Hurts, who was benched, had only positive things to say about Tagovailoa and his team’s championship.
If Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts had any bad feelings about being benched in the second half of the college football championship, he didn’t show it.
Hurts was benched after Alabama went scoreless in the first half against Georgia, replaced by true freshman backup quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who led Alabama to the overtime win, throwing a gorgeous 41-yard touchdown to seal it.
However, throughout the second half, Hurts could be seen smiling, cheering, and encouraging Tagovailoa from the sidelines. Asked after the game about his reaction to Tagovailoa’s heroics, Hurts was gracious.
“He was gonna step in and do his thing,” Hurts said about learning Tagovailoa was starting the second half. “We have a lot of guys in the QB room that play really well, and he stepped in and did his thing. Did his thing for the team.”
Asked about his message to Tagovailoa during the second half, Hurts said he told him to just play his game.
“‘Play your game. Ball,'” Hurts said. “He’s destined for stuff like this. He’s built for stuff like this. He has the ‘it’ factor. I’m so happy for him and for this team.”
It would be easy for Hurts to have reacted selfishly to being benched in one of the biggest games of his life. Instead, he supported his teammate and seemed genuinely happy to have won, despite spending most of the second half on the sideline.
Watch his postgame comments below:
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.