Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts had a gracious response when asked about the backup quarterback replacing him and leading the team to the championship win

  • Alabama beat Georgia, 26-23, in the college football championship on Monday.
  • Alabama freshman backup quarterback Tua Tagovailoa led the team to the win, sparking a comeback after being inserted into the game in the second half.
  • After the game, starting quarterback Jalen Hurts, who was benched, had only positive things to say about Tagovailoa and his team's championship.


If Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts had any bad feelings about being benched in the second half of the college football championship, he didn't show it.

Hurts was benched after Alabama went scoreless in the first half against Georgia, replaced by true freshman backup quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who led Alabama to the overtime win, throwing a gorgeous 41-yard touchdown to seal it.

However, throughout the second half, Hurts could be seen smiling, cheering, and encouraging Tagovailoa from the sidelines. Asked after the game about his reaction to Tagovailoa's heroics, Hurts was gracious.

"He was gonna step in and do his thing," Hurts said about learning Tagovailoa was starting the second half. "We have a lot of guys in the QB room that play really well, and he stepped in and did his thing. Did his thing for the team."

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Alabama tops Georgia in college football national title game
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Alabama tops Georgia in college football national title game
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: A general view of Mercedes-Benz Stadium during the College Football Playoff National Championship Game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs on January 8, 2018 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Andy Pappanastos #12 of the Alabama Crimson Tide misses a field goal during the first quarter against the Georgia Bulldogs in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Jalen Hurts #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide throws a pass during the first quarter against the Georgia Bulldogs in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Jalen Hurts #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide stiff arms Aaron Davis #35 of the Georgia Bulldogs on a run during the first quarter in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Jake Fromm #11 of the Georgia Bulldogs pitches the ball during the first quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Sony Michel #1 of the Georgia Bulldogs runs the ball during the first quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: David Marshall #51 of the Georgia Bulldogs is helped by team doctors after an injury during the second quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Rodrigo Blankenship #98 of the Georgia Bulldogs kicks a field goal during the second quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide and defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt talk to their team during the second quarter against the Georgia Bulldogs in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: The Crimson Tide defense wrap up Georgia Bulldogs running back Nick Chubb (27) during the College Football Playoff National Championship Game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs on January 8, 2018 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. (Photo by David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Calvin Ridley #3 of the Alabama Crimson Tide fails to pull in a catch against Malkom Parrish #14 of the Georgia Bulldogs during the third quarter in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Tua Tagovailoa #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide throws a pass as he is hit by Jonathan Ledbetter #13 of the Georgia Bulldogs during the third quarter in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Tua Tagovailoa #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates a six yard touchdown pass during the third quarter against the Georgia Bulldogs in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Andy Pappanastos #12 of the Alabama Crimson Tide kicks a field goal during the third quarter against the Georgia Bulldogs in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Jake Fromm #11 of the Georgia Bulldogs is sacked by Raekwon Davis #99 of the Alabama Crimson Tide during the second half in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Jerry Jeudy #4 of the Alabama Crimson Tide fails to make a catch for a touchdown against Aaron Davis #35 and Dominick Sanders #24 of the Georgia Bulldogs during the second half in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Calvin Ridley #3 of the Alabama Crimson Tide makes a catch for a seven yard touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Georgia Bulldogs in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Tua Tagovailoa #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates beating the Georgia Bulldogs in overtime to win the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: The Alabama Crimson Tide celebrate beating the Georgia Bulldogs in overtime and winning the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. Alabama won 26-23. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
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Asked about his message to Tagovailoa during the second half, Hurts said he told him to just play his game.

"'Play your game. Ball,'" Hurts said. "He's destined for stuff like this. He's built for stuff like this. He has the 'it' factor. I'm so happy for him and for this team."

It would be easy for Hurts to have reacted selfishly to being benched in one of the biggest games of his life. Instead, he supported his teammate and seemed genuinely happy to have won, despite spending most of the second half on the sideline.

Watch his postgame comments below:

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