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Lane Kiffin: If Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa hadn’t played, he would have transferred

Lane Kiffin: If Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa hadn’t played, he would have transferred

SportsPulse: Nick Saban explains why he decided to bench starting QB Jalen Hurts and put freshman Tua Tagovailoa into the national championship game. USA TODAY Sports

Florida Atlantic coach and former Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin said Tuesday morning that there is “no doubt” Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa would have transferred to another school if he hadn’t played in Monday night’s national title game.

“The funny thing is, if this second half doesn’t flip like this and Alabama’s (not) moving the ball, it doesn’t change — people that really know what’s going on would tell you that Tua was leaving,” Kiffin said on The Dan Patrick Show. “Because Tua felt that he should’ve been the starting quarterback and had outperformed (Jalen Hurts) in practice, and coach (Nick Saban) never gave him an opportunity.”

Tagovailoa, a true freshman from Hawaii, played sparingly during the regular season, appearing in seven of the team’s 12 games. He entered Monday night’s game against Georgia in the second half and led the Crimson Tide to a 26-23 come-from-behind victory, completing 14 of…

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