Junior quarterback Tua Tagovailoa matched a career-high in touchdown passes for a second consecutive week as No. 2 Alabama jumped on Southern Mississippi early and rolled to a 49-7 victory Saturday afternoon in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Tagovailoa threw five touchdown passes before turning the game over to backup Mac Jones late in the third quarter with the Crimson Tide (4-0) leading 42-7. Tagovailoa was an efficient 17-of-21 passing for 293 yards, just missing what would have been a ninth career 300-yard passing game.
His younger brother, freshman Taulia Tagovailoa, later guided the Tide to their final touchdown.
Quarterback Jack Abraham started slowly but was 3-of-3 passing for 55 yards to spark a 74-yard second-quarter scoring drive for the Golden Eagles (2-2). He finished the day 17-of-26 for 174 yards and a touchdown. He also threw an interception.
The Tide took command early with Tagovailoa finishing off their first four possessions with touchdown passes of 45 and 74 yards to receiver Henry Ruggs III, 5 yards to running back Najee Harris, and 17 to receiver Jerry Jeudy for a 28-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Tagovailoa was 12-of-13 passing for 237 yards and the four scores at that point but had only two more attempts over the final 11 minutes of the second quarter, and a third-down sack forced Bama to punt for the first time with just over 4 minutes left in the period.
That’s when USM’s offense woke up. Abraham found running back De’Michael Harris for a 37-yard gain that set up his 4-yard touchdown toss to Harris.
Tagovailoa got back on track to start the second half, driving the Tide 77 yards in less than two minutes and tossing a 20-yard scoring strike to Jeudy. He had one more series, a 68-yard march capped by running back Brian Robinson’s 6-yard scoring burst up the middle.
—Field Level Media