Tua Tagovailoa against Clemson in the 2019 title game.

The first two scoring plays of Monday’s CFP National Championship came on passes from Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, but they turned into touchdowns for separate teams. First, less than two minutes into the game, a Tagovailoa pass on first and ten was picked off by Clemson’s A.J. Terrell and returned 42 yards for a touchdown:

As The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach noted, this was the first defensive touchdown in a college football title game in almost a decade:


Surprisingly, that was Alabama’s third play of the game and Tagovailoa’s first pass. He redeemed himself on the subsequent drive, though, throwing a 62-yard touchdown pass to Jerry Jeudy:

Clemson then scored on their own next drive, though, with Trevor Lawrence finding Tee Higgins for 62 yards and Travis Etienne capping things off with a 17-yard touchdown run:


And Alabama responded with another touchdown, on a short pass from Tagovailoa to Hale Hentges:

However, a missed point after there from Joseph Bulovas meant that Clemson was still up 14-13 with just over six minutes to go in the first quarter. There’s a lot of football left to play, though, and if the fireworks stay at this level, we should have a fun one ahead.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.