Tua Tagovailoa

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa holds up the CFP National Championship trophy at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images)

Words by Pat Forbes

How, in the name of Bear Bryant, did a freshman bench jockey rise to this ridiculously pressurized occasion and become an instant hero?

“I was praying,” Tagovailoa said. “I was speaking in tongues. It kept me calm.”

He prayed before possessions. He prayed after possessions. He prayed and passed and scrambled his way into Alabama lore.

“I would say my poise comes from my faith,” Tagovailoa said. “I just pray for peace.”

He might pray for peace, but Tua unleashed mayhem on the final play Monday night.”