Tua, Tide race past Missouri

Tagovailoa throws three TD passes

By CODY ESTREMERA, For the Eagle
Posted 10/15/18

TUSCALOOSA — The first quarter has belonged to Alabama all season, outscoring its opponents 124-21, but that wasn’t the case in its 39-10 win over Missouri.

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Tua, Tide race past Missouri

Tagovailoa throws three TD passes

Posted

TUSCALOOSA — The first quarter has belonged to Alabama all season, outscoring its opponents 124-21, but that wasn’t the case in its 39-10 win over Missouri.

As it had for its previous six games, Alabama scored on its first possession of the game.

After missing his first pass, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa found Jerry Jeudy on a deep post route for an 81-yard touchdown. The team scored just 1:29 later when Joseph Bulovas hit a 30-yard field goal, taking a 10-0 lead before two-full minutes of game time had run off the clock.

But besides a field goal a couple of drives later, that was it for the quarter. Both field goals were kicked once Alabama made it into the red zone.

“If there was a disappointment, it was probably the fact that we had the ball in the red zone that we didn’t score,” coach Nick Saban said. “We had to kick field goals and went for it on fourth down and didn’t make it. We need to do a better job in the red zone.”

Overall, Alabama was just 3-of-7 on scoring touchdowns in the red zone.

Tagovailoa wasn’t as sharp as he has been all season, which was most likely due to a knee sprain. He completed 54.5 percent of his passes, which is down from the 75 percent rate he entered the game with.

Even hobbled by his injury, he was still effective, throwing for 265 yards and three touchdowns.

Starting late in the second quarter, Alabama’s offense started to cripple. DeVonta Smith went down with a pulled muscle and did not return. Tagovailoa had an awkward slide and didn’t come back into the game. Henry Ruggs went out with a leg injury but returned.

Saban said Smith was the only player that could miss some time.

After giving up a season high in yards and points last week to Arkansas, the Alabama defense had something to prove, but it started out slow. It gave up all 10 points in the first quarter along with 111 yards.

The rest of the 45 minutes of game time, it played to the Alabama standard.

It gave up 101 yards the rest of the game. The defense flexed the most during the third quarter. Missouri finished with negative one yard, including negative nine rushing yards. Lock was also sacked twice.

“We played a great game,” Christian Miller said. “We wanted to respond. The way we played last week wasn’t our best outing and we wanted to respond this week.”

Alabama found a way into the backfield seemingly at will against the talented Missouri offensive line. The Tigers had only given up four sacks in five games this season, but Alabama reached that number in under 60 minutes.

Alabama had two big sacks in the game that helped result in points. The first one came on Missouri’s first drive of the second quarter. Isaiah Buggs beat his man and barreled into Lock, forcing a fumble. On the other big one Quinnen Williams charged through the line and hit Lock in the end zone for a safety.

Alabama goes back on the road to take on Tennessee on Saturday Oct. 20.