Alabama Football: Studs and Duds from Tide and Gamecocks

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
1 of 4
Alabama Football
COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA – SEPTEMBER 14 (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Second-ranked Alabama football (3-0, 1-0 SEC) traveled to Columbia and defeated the South Carolina Gamecocks (1-2, 0-1 SEC) 47-23. Although the Crimson Tide never appeared in grave danger, there is still room for improvement as the competition stiffens.

Alabama football head coach Nick Saban squared off against his former assistant, Will Muschamp. The iconic coach is now 17-0 against his former coaches. Given his intricate knowledge of Saban, Muschamp positioned his overachieving squad and true freshman quarterback in a prime position by aggressively challenging an uber-talented Alabama team with two special team trick plays and going for it on fourth downs.

Here are Studs and Duds from the game:


Tua Tagovailoa

Nothing irritates me more than whenever the Heisman Trophy conversation comes up; the smooth lefty junior quarterback is barely mentioned (Alabama fatigue, I guess). He was the runner up for the coveted award last season. NFL teams are literally tanking for Tua to become their savior and lead their organization to the Super Bowl. He is a remarkable talent deserving of all the accolades he receives. His growth and maturity for taking the easy pass are fully evident this season.

Simply put, Tagovailoa was masterful, going for 444 yards and five touchdowns (third-most in school history). He recorded his eighth career game with at least four touchdown passes, passing A.J. McCarron for the most in Alabama history.

For the season, his numbers are 1,007 yards, 12 touchdowns, and zero picks. Tua even had a score taken away from him when Major Tennison was called out of bounds but clearly hugged the sidelines like a skilled ballerina. Here’s proof:

Henry Ruggs III and Devonta Smith

These two receivers went over 100 yards apiece Saturday afternoon. There is little doubt that this quartet of receivers is the nation’s best and these two showed why. Ruggs took a small slant, turned on the cheetah speed and blew past three defenders as for an 81-yard score.

Devonta Smith, forever forged in Alabama football lore, displayed reliable hands with eight catches, 136 yards, and a touchdown.