ORLANDO, Fla. (WIAT) — Jalen or Tua, Tua or Jalen–it’s been the debate of the off season.
You can make a case for either quarterback, they have different skill sets.
But we went inside the numbers to compare Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa.
Jalen Hurts vs. Tua Tagovailoa–two quarterbacks, that although they wear the same jersey, couldn’t be more different.
On one hand, you have Hurts the unflappable fleet-footed right hander from the heart of Texas. On the other Tua Tagovailoa, the live-armed lefty from Hawaii.
You can make a case for either quarterback but let’s break down the numbers.
For Hurts, his strengths rely on his legs. In two seasons as the starting quarterback, Hurts has rushed for close to 1,000 yards each season and found the endzone 21 times. He averages over 5 yards per rush.
While Tua doesn’t quite have the game-breaking ability Jalen has, he did average 4.9 yards per carry last year.
When it comes to passing, this is where we see the biggest difference. Specifically, down field throws last season, Hurts only completed 33 percent of his passes over 20 yards downfield–that’s good enough for 8th best of the returning SEC quarterbacks
Tua, however, excels in downfield throws. He completed 54 percent of his passes 20 yards downfield with four touchdowns.
But that ability comes with a catch. Tua is a gunslinger which means turnovers could be an issue. In his limited time playing, Tua threw more interceptions than Jalen did the entire season
When it comes to overall accuracy, the two match up pretty equally. Tua completed two percent more of his passes and averaged less than a yard more per completion
If there’s a category Jalen dominates in this discussion, it’s experience. Not just the fact he has two years as a starter under his belt but the games and environment’s he’s played in
Tua doesn’t quite have the experience Jalen does. But it’s hard to argue with what he did in the 2nd half of the National Championship game, scoring 26 to rally and beat Georgia.