By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Hurts lost his starting job on the biggest stage. Head Coach Nick Saban benched Hurts in favor of true freshman Tua Tagovailoa in the second half of the College Football Playoff National Championship game.
Tagovailoa led the Tide comeback in historic fashion over the Georgia Bulldogs on Monday night. In a high-pressure situation following a critical sack, Tagovailoa hit Devonta Smith for the game-winning 41-yard touchdown.
Hurts had just 21 passing yards in the past two quarters. He has struggled in four College Football Playoff games, totaling 329 yards through the air.
Tagovailoa had 166 passing yards. But he also had three touchdowns.
This will be the Hawai’ian’s team moving forward. Hurts, as we point out last night, will likely transfer now.
The landing spot that comes to mind first is the Florida Atlantic Owls. Their head coach Lane Kiffin was previously the Crimson Tide offensive coordinator.
The 42-year-old Kiffin was in Tuscaloosa for three seasons as their offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Last season, Kiffin worked with Hurts — who if he transfers will have to sit out a season due to NCAA transfer rules — almost all season before he was fired right before the College Football Playoff National Championship game against the Clemson Tigers.
Despite an 11-1 record this season — and a 25-2 record overall as a starter — he had just 2,081 passing yards under first-year offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. He also had 17 touchdowns.
This season, he had only two games, where he passed for more than 200 yards. He had 248 yards against the Colorado State Rams in Week 3. He also had 242 yards against the Mississippi State Bulldogs in Week 11.
Yet, he had three games, where he did not even break 100 yards. He had 96 yards against the then-No. 3 Florida State Seminoles in Week 1. He also had 78 yards against the Vanderbilt Commodores in Week 4.
Jason Driskel is presently the Owls starting quarterback. However, he only has one season left of eligibility before his graduation.
Driskel in his first season with Kiffin had 1,977 passing yards. He also had 13 touchdowns.
The 2018 season will be his last in Boca Raton. That would open the door for Hurts — when he does transfer and likely picks the Owls — to take over the reins in 2019.
Driskel also had a production dip this past season. He had 2,415 passing yards, as a sophomore in 2016.
Yet, he guided the Owls to a 10-3 record — and they started the season 1-3 in their first four games. Driskel guided the team to a 50-3 win over the Akron Zips in the Boca Raton Bowl on December 19th, 2017.