No. 1 Alabama had an opportunity to secure its second shutout of the season last Saturday against Tennessee.
The Crimson Tide held a 28-0 lead over the Vols when freshman Tua Tagovailoa (Saint Louis ’17) took over for Jalen Hurts at quarterback on the Crimson Tide’s second drive of the second half.
Tagovailoa completed his first four passes and drove Alabama 73 yards to the Tennessee 5-yard line when he threw an interception that was returned 97 yards for a touchdown.
After the game, head coach Nick Saban said Tagovailoa apologized after the play.
“You probably don’t know Tua very well, but he apologizes and says thank you and apologizes for everything,” Saban told reporters at his postgame press conference. “If you ask Tua how he’s doing, he’ll say, ‘thanks for asking,’ so sometimes I say that to him now.
“He says, ‘how’s it going, coach?’ and I said, ‘good man, thanks for asking.’ So he’s made me more polite.”
Tagovailoa bounced back from the pick to finish 9-for-13 for 134 yards with a 60-yard TD pass and added a 23-yard touchdown run in a 45-7 victory.
Tagovailoa has played in all but one game this season and thrown just the one interception with five touchdowns. He’s completing 66.7 percent (28-for-42) of his passes for 385 yards and has also rushed for 95 yards and two scores.
“I think the most important thing is he went back into the game and he played well and he made plays,” Saban said. “Even though he felt bad about what he did it didn’t affect his confidence and i don’t think it affected the players’ confidence in him.”
Alabama has a bye this week before hosting LSU on Nov. 4.