Now this is what you call irony. Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts was benched at halftime during last season's College Football Playoff National Championship Game against Georgia in favor of Tua Tagovailoa, who, of course, cemented his place in Crimson Tide lore by throwing the walk-off touchdown.
Now, with the SEC Championship Game on the line against the Bulldogs, Alabama needs Hurts with Tagovailoa hampered with two ankle injuries. The sophomore left the game in the fourth quarter after his right ankle was rolled up on by an offensive lineman. Tagovailoa had to be helped off the field by Alabama trainers. He finished the game with an uncharacteristically bad stat line of 10-of-25 passing for 164 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. He was repeatedly harassed by Georgia's pass rush and seemed hesitant in his decision-making both running and passing. Tagovailoa, who has been banged up for most of the season, was also tended to in the first quarter with a foot/ankle injury.
Hurts has battled through his own injuries this season including a high-ankle sprain he suffered against Tennessee. But with the SEC title on the line, Hurts has a chance to enhance his own place in Alabama's championship legacy.