College football fans are currently enjoying a golden age of quarterback play. Players across the country are excelling in the position; it has made for fun offenses and great games. It has even bled into the NFL where names like Mayfield, Mahomes and Jackson are headlining Sunday’s with brilliant performances. This tsunami of talent will peak on Monday in the National Championship game. As Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence attempt to lead their respective units to the promised land of a national championship.
The Reigning Champ
With his performance in last weeks thrilling win over Oklahoma, Tua reaffirmed his position as the best quarterback at the college level. He throws with poise and accuracy; and is comfortable on the run. Tua’s signature tight left handed spiral soars on the deep ball and gives the Alabama offense a severe potency.
Despite this attacking prowess, Tua is excellent at protecting the rock. His touchdown to interception ratio is 41:4, historic numbers on an offense such as the Tide. A continuation of this rate will be key to any winning effort from Bama.
Perhaps Tagovailoa’s most under-rated quality is his ability to run and throw on the run. Playing behind a fabulous offensive line, Tua is able to evade any rushers who do make their way past the wall of protection and set his platform before delivering any one of a huge portfolio of throws.
The Upstart’s Time to Shine
Trevor Lawrence, the number one quarterback in the 2018 recruiting class has swept all before him this season. Supplanting the incumbent starter Kelly Bryant early in the season, Lawrence has grown over his freshman year. With the size and arm strength of a classic NFL franchise quarterback; Lawrence has all the physical tools to be great. It is now time for him to show he can do it under the lights against a top defence.
As you would expect from a freshman, Lawrence’s numbers don’t quite match his sophomore counterpart Tagovailoa. He has still been elite at protecting the ball, with few giveaways that put his team in real trouble. His offense hasn’t been quite as explosive as the one orchestrated by Tua, but it has been impressive all the same.
A Familiar Outcome?
The run that Lawrence is on reminds me of Jake Fromm last year, he has come in to his own as the season has gone on and produced his best performance of the season in the semi-final win. However, he hasn’t face a defense as loaded as this Alabama group. They are impressive at all levels and could cause the freshman real problems with concepts he hasn’t seen before. Lawrence will have to lean on his talent skill position players to succeed.
The expectations will be high for Tua coming in to the game. He will be expected by many to once again rise and truely underline his credentials as the best college player in the country on the biggest stage of them all. His experience of playing in this environment and ability to come up clutch in these big games should see his side through to victory. Things will get interesting if the Clemson front begins to win against the Alabama offensive line and gets pressure on Tua.
The national championship game is set up to be a battle of two future number one draft picks and may just be a contest between the two best players in college football.