A generation from now, few people will remember the game, a 38-7 Alabama blowout of Mississippi State, the usual result in this series and not even a contest that rose to the standard of being interesting.
Those people will all remember the play.
That would be the play where Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa went down, injuring his right hip and ending the remainder of his college career.
Dr. Lyle Cain, Alabama’s orthopedic surgeon at Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Clinic, issued a statement Saturday evening on Tagovailoa’s status.
“Tua Tagovailoa sustained a right hip dislocation that was immediately reduced at the stadium,” Cain said. “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.”
The play came with just over three minutes remaining in the first half with No. 5 Alabama leading 35-7. Tagovailoa, who had started and played the entire game, faced a heavy third-down pass rush and rolled out to his left. The pressure caught up to Tagovailoa, two defenders crashing on him, knocking off his helmet, smashing his face into the turf and causing a serious-looking hip injury.
“He has a hip injury that’s going to evaluated,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said afterwards. “I don’t think it’s related to any other injury he’s had.”
Tagovailoa had a tightrope surgical procedure on his right ankle following the Alabama-Tennessee game.
“We took him out in pregame before the team even went out. He was good, at least as good as he was a week ago in terms of his ability to move. I didn’t think anything affected his performance in the first half, so the guy played and I thought he played really well.
“We can second-guess ourselves all we want. We told Mac (Jones) to warm up. We were going to go two-minute (drill) before the half and Tua wanted to play in the game.
“I really don’t make too many decisions based on guys getting hurt.”
Before leaving with the injury, Tagovailoa had played well, completing 14 of 18 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns. The game was in little doubt after the first three minutes as Alabama scored an opening-drive touchdown on a 10-yard Najee Harris run, then used a Shane Lee interception of MSU quarterback Tommy Stevens for good field position and a 19-yard scoring pass from Tagovailoa to Harris.
Later in the half, Harris added a pair of five-yard touchdown runs, giving him four touchdowns in the game. Jaylen Waddle also caught a 17-yard scoring pass from Tagovailoa.
Jones played the entire second half, completing seven of 11 passes for 94 yards. Alabama’s only second-half came on a 22-yard Joseph Bulovas field goal.
The Crimson Tide defense, much maligned aftervalloeing 46 points to LSU last Saturday, held Mississippi State to just seven points and 270 total yards.
Alabama returns to action next Saturday, hosting Western Carolina.
Reach Cecil Hurt at email@example.com or via Twitter @cecilhurt.