Tua Smashes ‘Em

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ʻEwa Beach’s own Tua Tagovailoa is helping #1-ranked Alabama smash opponents as their starting quarterback. By season’s end he may smash some all-time college football records, too.

If you haven’t seen Tua in action yet, stop and admire.

Plays like that are why Tagovailoa is, statistically, the #1 college QB in the country. If he keeps up this pace, he’ll be the #1 college QB of all time.

NCAA measures quarterbacks by a statistic called passing efficency. Basically, long completions and touchdowns are good, interceptions and incompletions are bad.

In the NCAA’s formula (which is slightly different than the one used by the NFL), 140 is a pretty good rating. 170 would lead the nation most years. The all-time single season record, set last year, is 198.9.

Tua’s passing efficiency rating so far? 230.5.

Next Up: Heisman Trophy? The NFL?

Alabama has been a terrific team for decades. But never because of their quarterbacks. Not since 1976 has an Alabama quarterback been picked in the first round of the NFL draft. That’s likely to change.

Tua’s elite play makes Alabama even more dominating, causing national football writers to freak out.

”After years of winning championships with guys like Greg McElroy, A.J. McCarron, and Jacob Coker at quarterback, the Tide actually have the best quarterback in college football under center. What the hell are the other 128 teams supposed to do about that?” – Rodger Sherman, The Ringer

Vegas is paying attention, too. Tagovailoa is now the overwhelming favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, college football’s most prestigious award.

One famous former college coach is willing to call the race now.

So … how is Tua doing it?

Arm Strength

Here’s a pass thrown 40 yards downfield on a line to a streaking receiver and you couldn’t have handed him the ball in a more perfect spot.

Going For Touchdowns, Not Easy Gains

This is a neat angle. You can see that Tua has the option to throw to the wide open running back in the flat. Instead he spots the sliver of space where he could throw the ball to get a touchdown, and he puts the ball there.

ʻUkulele Playing

Probably not a skill NFL teams will care about, but his teammates seem to enjoy it.

The crazy thing is that Tua’s lights-out numbers could improve in the next two weeks. Saturday, Bama plays Louisiana of the lower-level Sun Belt conference. The Saturday after that, October 6, Alabama plays Arkansas, which has lost to Colorado State and North Texas.

You’ll have to get up early if you want to see The Tua Show—both games start at 6am Hawaiʻi time. And, Tagovailoa has led Alabama to such lopsided leads, he has yet to play in a fourth quarter. So Tua’s time may be up not long after the sun is.

Saturday’s game against Louisiana is on SEC Network, the October 6 game vs Arkansas on ESPN. Both games will be broadcast on radio by ESPN 1420.

Photo by Alabama Athletics Photography