Sophomore Tua Tagovailoa passed for 227 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start to lead top-ranked Alabama to a 51-14 rout of Louisville on Saturday night in the Camping World Kickoff at Orlando, Fla.
Tagovailoa drew the start at quarterback after being listed as co-No. 1s with junior Jalen Hurts on the game-week depth chart. He displayed why he got the nod with a crisp 12-of-16 passing performance while also supplying a rushing touchdown.
Hurts, who has a 26-2 record as Alabama’s starter, also saw action and was 5-of-9 passing for 70 yards. The Crimson Tide scored three points under his guidance.
Sophomore receiver Jerry Jeudy caught two touchdown receptions for Alabama (1-0), which had a 519-268 edge in total offense. Junior running back Josh Jacobs also scored twice, one on the ground and the other on a kickoff, while junior safety Shyheim Carter returned an interception 45 yards for a touchdown for the Crimson Tide’s final points with 7:31 remaining.
Louisville sophomore Jawon Pass completed 20 of 39 passes for 252 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in his first outing as the starting quarterback in place of departed record-setter Lamar Jackson. Sophomore tight end Kemari Averett caught both touchdown passes for the Cardinals (0-1), who had just 16 net rushing yards on 26 attempts.
The Crimson Tide began the game on offense, and Tagovailoa was 4 of 4 for 60 yards on the seven-play, 65-yard march. He capped the drive with an 11-yard scoring pass to Jeudy.
Tagovailoa scored on a 9-yard keeper with 4:04 left in the opening quarter to make it 14-0. The lead reached 21 on a 1-yard run by sophomore Najee Harris with 11:24 remaining in the half.
Hurts was the quarterback for the Crimson Tide’s next two series, and both ended with punts.
Tagovailoa returned with 27 seconds left in the half and the ball at the Louisville 25-yard line. On the third play, he teamed with Jeudy on a 25-yard scoring pass to make it 28-0 with nine seconds remaining.
Alabama increased its lead to 34 points on Jacobs’ 18-yard scoring run with 10:03 left in the third quarter. The Cardinals got on the board a short time later when Pass tossed a 12-yard touchdown pass to Averett with 6:27 left.
Jacobs answered with a 77-yard kickoff return to make it 41-7. He broke two tackles close to midfield and raced down the right sideline to score the touchdown.
Hurts returned as quarterback when the Crimson Tide next had the ball with 3:45 remaining in the third quarter. Three minutes later, senior Austin Jones booted a 39-yard field goal to make it a 37-point margin.
—Field Level Media