Monday huddle: If the win over Baltimore was the start of an audition for Tua Tagovailoa, it went quite well

Maligned Dolphins QB returns to action and plays well in start of critical stretch for franchise

Miami Dolphins fans cheer quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) at the end of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Dolphins defeated the Ravens 22-10. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) (Wilfredo Lee, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Huddle up! Here’s a look back at this weekend on the gridiron, with three key takeaways from the state’s football scene.

Tua shines in relief for the Dolphins against Baltimore.

Ever since the trade deadline came and passed without the Dolphins making a trade for Houston Texans’ quarterback DeShaun Watson, many speculated that the rest of the season was going to offer Tua Tagovailoa an audition to see if he was worthy of being the Dolphins’ franchise quarterback going forward.

If that’s indeed the case, Tagovailoa made a good impression in his first extensive action since the trade deadline passed and speculation about his future intensified.

Coming on in the second half in relief of starter Jacoby Brissett, who suffered a knee injury, Tagovailoa went 8-of-13 passing for 158 yards and scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with 2:19 left to cap off a 22-10 Dolphins win.

Apparently recovered from a broken finger that kept him out of action, there are seven games left for Tagovailoa to show he should be the man for Miami.

If he can’t, don’t be surprised if all the Watson talk resurfaces in the offseason.

Miami-Florida State play another classic, even with way less at stake.

If you wouldn’t have known what the records for Miami and Florida State were, you would have thought there were national championship implications on the line, like in the glory days of the ‘80s and ‘90s, during their annual clash in Tallahassee on Saturday.

The teams produced another terrific finish in the rivalry, with the Seminoles winning 31-28 on a 1-yard touchdown run by Jordan Travis with 26 seconds remaining.

The score came two plays after Travis hit Andrew Parchment for a conversion on fourth-and-14 that kept FSU’s hopes alive.

Florida State (3-6) snapped a four-game losing streak in the rivalry and kept slim bowl hopes alive, while Miami (5-5) fell to .500 just when it seemed like it had some momentum with a three-game winning streak.

Gators avert a disastrous loss.

For all the groans about the job Dan Mullen has done this year with Florida, those groans were starting to turn into shouts for his firing after the Gators fell behind 42-28 to Samford in what was supposed to be a non-conference cakewalk.

But despite giving up 530 yards of offense, the Gators’ offense got rolling and led Florida to a 70-52 win.

Florida improved to 5-5, but is certainly wobbling down the stretch with games against Missouri and Florida State left.

About the Author:

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.