TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Tua Tagovailoa passed for 265 yards and three touchdowns before leaving with an injury in No. 1 Alabama’s 39-10 victory over Missouri on Saturday night.
The Crimson Tide (7-0, 4-0 Southeastern Conference) shrugged off another would-be challenger in the league, but got a scare when the star quarterback went down after sliding at the end of a run in the third quarter.
Playing with a sprained right knee, Tagovailoa went to the medical tent on the sideline. He was joined by his parents, and Jalen Hurts led the Tide the rest of the way with a big lead over the Tigers (3-3, 0-3).
The nation’s top scoring offense didn’t let up too much, and Tagovailoa hasn’t played in a fourth quarter yet this season anyway. His status wasn’t immediately known.
Jerry Jeudy gained 147 yards on three catches, including an 81-yard touchdown from Tagovailoa on the game’s second play. DeVonta Smith had four catches for 100 yards and a touchdown before leaving with an apparent leg injury injury after a 57-yard gain in the second quarter.
Tagovailoa was playing with a brace on his right knee, sprained last week against Arkansas. Coach Nick Saban said he didn’t miss any practice time during the week.
Alabama had three scoring drives of less than a minute to race to a 30-10 halftime lead, starting it off with Tagovailoa’s on-target deep ball to Jeudy. Drew Lock’s 20-yard touchdown pass to Jalen Knox late in the first quarter cut it to 13-10 before the Tide dominated the rest of the half.
Tagovailoa was 12-of-22 passing. Hurts was 7 of 8 for 115 yards.
Lock was 13 of 26 for 142 yards with a touchdown. But Saivion Smith, starting in place of an injured Trevon Diggs (broken foot), intercepted his first and last passes. Lock also lost a fumble and was tackled in the end zone by Quinnen Williams for a safety to end the third quarter.
Missouri: Made it competitive longer than most of Alabama’s opponents this season. Still short-handed in the passing game but was much more competitive against No. 2 Georgia.
Alabama: Continues to produce big plays early and then pretty much coast to a win. Fell well short of its nation-leading 56 points a game. The defense fared well against one of the SEC’s top offenses and had four sacks.
For the second straight game, Missouri was without top deep threat Emanuel Hall and fellow wide receiver Nate Brown. Both have groin injuries.
Missouri linebacker Terez Hall was ejected for targeting in the second quarter after a hit on Damien Harris.
Missouri faces Memphis for homecoming.
Alabama visits rival Tennessee, fresh from an upset of No. 21 Auburn.