EditorsNote: Updates with Tagavailoa injury details
Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa guided the offense to touchdowns on Alabama’s first five possessions, but he may have played one series too many in the No. 5 Crimson Tide’s 38-7 victory over Mississippi State Saturday in Starkville, Miss.
Tagovailoa appeared to be done for the afternoon with the Tide (9-1, 6-1 Southeastern Conference) leading 35-7, but he returned with 3:42 left in the second quarter and suffered a dislocated hip as he was tackled under a heavy rush on third down.
Last season’s Heisman runner-up, Tagovailoa was injured while being sacked and slammed to the ground by two defenders. The training staff helped Tagovailoa off the field, as the quarterback was unable to put any weight on his right side. His nose also was bleeding.
ESPN reported after the game that he was airlifted to Birmingham, Ala., to undergo both CAT scans and MRI testing.
“Tua Tagovailoa sustained a right hip dislocation that was immediately reduced at the stadium,” team orthopedic surgeon Dr. Lyle Cain said in a statement Saturday night. “He is undergoing further testing to determine the best course of treatment. He is expected to make a full recovery but will miss the remainder of the season.”
Tagovailoa completed his first eight pass attempts and was 14-of-18 passing for 256 yards and a pair of touchdowns before leaving.
Tagovailoa wasn’t the only casualty in the hard-hitting game. Wide receiver Henry Ruggs III was helped off the field in the third quarter, and defensive linemen Raekwon Davis (ankle) and D.J. Dale (knee) also left the game with injuries for Alabama.
The Bulldogs (4-6, 2-5 SEC) lost leading rusher Kylin Hill (upper body) and safety C.J. Morgan (lower body) to injuries in the third quarter. Hill, who came into the game rushing for 114.1 yards a game, was held to 35 on 16 rushes.
Sophomore Mac Jones took over for Tagovailoa and completed 7 of 11 passes for 94 yards in the second half, but the Tide added only a field goal to their halftime bulge.
Running back Najee Harris scored a career-high four touchdowns, three of them rushing, while rushing for 88 yards as the Tide ran their winning streak against the Bulldogs to 12 consecutive games.
Mississippi State quarterback Tommy Stevens completed 12 of 21 passes for 82 yards and rushed for 96 yards, 73 of them on just two plays. His 27-yard run ignited the Bulldogs’ 75-yard first-quarter scoring drive. He later had a 46-yard dash in the second half.
—Field Level Media