ATLANTA — Tua Tagovailoa threw for 336 yards and four touchdowns as No. 2 Alabama overcame a sluggish start to blow out Duke, 42-3, Saturday in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.
Returning to the stadium where they won the Southeastern Conference title last December and the national championship two seasons ago, the Crimson Tide (1-0) was held scoreless in the first quarter — which happened only one time in 2018.
But the Blue Devils (0-1) merely delayed the inevitable.
Tagovailoa, whose brilliant sophomore season ended with a bit of a thud, put his tight ends to good use. The left-hander hooked up with Miller Forristall on a 27-yard touchdown pass and then went to Major Tennison for a 1-yard score.
Alabama's dynamic receiving corps also got in on the fun. DeVonta Smith hauled in an 8-yard TD pass and Jerry Jeudy broke loose for a 21-yard score.
Jerome Ford and Brian Robinson Jr. ran for the Tide's other TDs.
With Alabama up 35-3, Tagovailoa's day was done by late in the third quarter. He completed 26 of 31 passes before giving way to backup Mac Jones.
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Tagovailoa's younger brother, Taulia, even got a chance to play late in the game. He handed off to Ford on his 37-yard touchdown.
This was just the sort of performance Tagovailoa and the Tide were hoping for after a blowout loss to Clemson in last year's national championship game. Tagovailoa was thoroughly outplayed in that 44-16 setback, on the heels of an ankle injury that knocked him out of the SEC championship game.
No. 13 Washington 47, E. Washington 14: Jacob Eason threw for 349 yards and four touchdowns in his first game in nearly two years, and No. 13 Washington opened the season by routing Eastern Washington at Seattle.
Taking his first snaps since the 2017 season when he lost the starting job at Georgia to Jake Fromm, Eason showed no rust, carving up one of the top FCS programs in the country with a debut that will only increase the hype around the former No. 1 recruit in the country.
Eason completed 27 of 36 passes and led Washington (1-0) on touchdown drives on four of its first five possessions.
Eason's fourth pass in purple was a 50-yard touchdown strike to Andre Baccellia. Eason added a 7-yard TD pass to Aaron Fuller, who made a stunning one-handed catch while getting a foot inbound, and capped his first-half with a 10-yard TD strike to Chico McClatcher late in the first half.
Fuller caught his second TD on the opening drive of the second half on a perfect back-shoulder throw from Eason, tapping his toes as he fell out of bounds.