ORLANDO, FL (WSFA) - Any questions involving Alabama's starting quarterback were answered Saturday night.
Tua Tagovailoa received the nod from head coach Nick Saban and did not disappoint in the Crimson Tide's 51-14 lopsided win over Louisville.
Tagovailoa threw for 227 yards and two touchdowns on 12 of 16 passing. He added 26 rushing yards and a score on the ground, solidifying his position as QB1 for the Crimson Tide.
Leading up to the game, Saban said both Tagovailoa and former starting quarterback Jalen Hurts would play. Hurts did play but sparingly. Hurts threw for 70 yards on 5 of 9 passing. He added nine rushing yards.
Tagovailoa's dominance was instant, as he led the Crimson Tide (1-0) on a six play, 65-yard drive to open the game. Tagovailoa connected with Jerry Jeudy for an 11-yard touchdown pass take a 7-0 lead less than four minutes into the game. Tagovailoa called his own number with 4:04 left in the first quarter on a 9-yard touchdown run to take a two-score lead.
Louisville (0-1) continued to unsuccessfully search for answers to stop Alabama as the Crimson Tide added two more touchdowns before halftime, taking a 28-0 lead into the break, and scored to open the third quarter.
Louisville's lone bright spot Saturday night was even overshadowed by the Tide.
With 6:27 left in the third quarter, Cardinals quarterback Jawon Pass connected with Emari Averrett for a 12-yard touchdown pass to cut Alabama's lead to 34-7. However, any celebration was short-lived as Josh Jacobs returned in ensuing kickoff 77 yards for an Alabama touchdown.
Tagovailoa, Hurts and third-stringer Mac Jones had good ball movement, with seven different Tide players recording a reception. DeVonta Smith led the team with 99 yards on four catches. Jaylen Waddle had 66 receiving yards and Jeudy had 64 yards and the two scores.
Damien Harris led the Crimson Tide on the ground with 55 yards on seven carries. Jacobs had 45 rushing yards and a score.
Alabama will play its 2018 home opener next Saturday against Arkansas State. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.