Georgia football couldn't hold onto a big lead against Alabama on Saturday night, and the Bulldogs earned a lot of sympathy from the college football world after suffering a second gut-wrenching loss to the Crimson Tide.
"I know at Alabama, there's always an opportunity to win", Hurts said. "I told him when we put him when we put him in, when Tua got hurt, it's your time and he took advantage of it and he did a fantastic job".
Hurts replaced an injured Tagovailoa during the fourth quarter of Saturday's game to rally back from a 28-21 deficit and defeat the Bulldogs, 35-28, to win the SEC Championship.
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He calmly guided the Crimson Tide to a game-tying touchdown with a 10-yard pass to Jerry Jeudy, capping a 16-play, 80-yard drive that chewed up more than 7 minutes. Saban pulled Hurts for freshman Tagovailoa in the second half, where the backup connected with DeVonta Smith on a 41-yard pass in overtime for a touchdown and the title.
This time, it was Hurts who bailed out the Crimson Tide.
Georgia's Jake Fromm threw for 301 yards and three touchdowns, while Tagovailoa was only 10 of 25 for 164 yards. The Heisman Trophy front runner was having arguably his worst performance of the season, however, throwing just one touchdown and two interceptions.
Only Alabama could have the luxury of having their backup quarterback being a player who led his team to a national title in his first two seasons, winning one of them. But Hurts took control of the offense and lifted Alabama, certain to be the top seed in the College Football Playoff.