Alabama Crimson Tide’s star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and Oklahoma Sooners star quarterback Kyler Murray split the top honors at the 2018 College Football Awards Thursday night in Atlanta.

Murray, Tagovailoa split College Football Awards

This sets up the showdown for Dec. 8, when they will contend for the Heisman Trophy at the Marriot Marquis in Times Square in New York City.

Tagovailoa received the Maxwell Award for Player of the Year, while Murray was named the nation’s Top Quarterback with the Davey O’Brien Award at the College Football Awards show in Atlanta.

The two went back and forth throughout the ceremony as Tagovailoa received the Walter Camp Award for best player in college football, and Murray won the Associated Press’ Player of the Year Award.

Tagovailoa may have the edge in the Heisman race, as the past four Maxwell winners and past five Walter Camp winners have all gone on to win the trophy.

This is the sixth time in the past 15 seasons that different quarterbacks took home the Maxwell and Davey O’Brien awards and in four of the previous five times, the Heisman went to the O’Brien winner.

It’s also interesting to note that only five Heisman winners have failed to win AP Player of the Year since the award started in 1998.


Tagovailoa, a sophomore, has thrown 37 touchdown passes to just four interceptions while leading the undefeated Crimson Tide to the top spot in the College Football Playoff rankings.

Tua is the third Alabama player to win the Maxwell after AJ McCarron in 2013 and Derrick Henry in 2015.

Murray, a junior who plans to focus on baseball in the future, had a 96.0 quarterback rating, the highest in the Football Bowl Subdivision in at least the past 15 years. He was responsible for 51 touchdowns, tied for the most in the FBS.

Murray is currently on pace to become the first FBS starting quarterback to average at least 300 passing yards and 60 rushing yards per game.

Murray’s Davey O’Brien marked the fifth time an Oklahoma QB claimed the honor, after Baker Mayfield — who won last season — Sam Bradford in 2008 and Jason White in both 2003 and 2004.

Running back Billy Sims also won the award in 1978 before it became quarterback-exclusive in 1981. The five different players broke a tie with BYU for the most by any school.

Among the other awards given out in Atlanta on Thursday night:

Maxwell Award Player of the Year Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
Walter Camp Award Player of the Year Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
 Home Depot Award Coach of the Year Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
Jim Thorpe Award Best Defensive Back DeAndre Baker, Georgia
Davey O’Brien Award Best Quarterback Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
Rimington Trophy Best Center Garrett Bradbury, NC State
Lou Groza Award Best Placekicker Andre Szmyt, Syracuse
Butkus Award Best Linebacker Devin White, LSU
Doak Walker Award Best Running Back Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin
Biletnikoff Award Best Wide Receiver Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
John Mackey Award Best Tight End TJ Hockenson, Iowa
Outland Trophy Best Interior Lineman Quinnen Williams, Alabama
Ray Guy Award Best Punter Braden Mann, Texas A&M
Bednarik Award Defensive Player of the Year Josh Allen, Kentucky
Nagurski Trophy Defensive Player of the Year Josh Allen, Kentucky
Disney Spirit Award Most Inspirational Tyler Trent, Purdue
William Campbell Trophy Academic Heisman Christian Wilkins, Clemson
Wuerffel Trophy Community Service Drue Tranquill, Notre Dame
Broyles Award Best Assistant Coach Mike Locksley, Alabama

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