Saban, Alabama Also Have To Get Reloaded In 2019
He was the talk of the town, the toast of Tuscaloosa and the top Tide player.
Tua Tagovailoa was a sensation all right in 2018 but, entering the 2019 season, he still has something to prove. He must prove it to Crimson Tide fans and to the college football world. He must prove two things, that he can avoid injuries and that he can play his best against the best competition.
Tagovailoa struggled with ankle and knee injuries which contributed to his so-so performances against Georgia in the SEC Championship and may or may not have hurt him against Clemson. Actually, in the latter, he looked more like an anxious sophomore than a polished veteran, forcing the ball rather than relying on his great instincts and reads.
He also had a terrible spring. Terrible by his standards, anyway.
He will certainly have the chance to get warmed up this year, for in 2019, Alabama faces not a national power in a marquee opening-night neutral site game, but Duke.
The biggest in-season challenges are likely to come from playing at South Carolina – expect the Gamecocks to be pumped up and play over their head the last time Bama went to Columbia – at Texas A&M, at home against LSU and at Auburn.
Roll through that then it’s likely Georgia again in the SEC Championship, which is where Tagovailoa and the Tide should be hitting stride, rather than fading and hanging on as they did last year.
Alabama and even Nick Saban have something to prove this year, as well. Alabama’s players need to prove that they are the big bullies of college football again, not Clemson. They need to prove they can still hold off all challengers.
Saban must prove he can still rule college football despite an incredible amount of coaching turnover the past two seasons.