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Joe Burrow shows respect to former SEC rival Tua Tagovailoa ahead of first NFL matchup

Joe Burrow had some big praise for Tua Tagovailoa, as the former LSU Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide quarterbacks do battle in Week 4.

Week 4 starts off in grand fashion, as Thursday Night Football will see the undefeated Miami Dolphins visit Cincinnati to face the reigning AFC champion Bengals. Not only is this be a potential playoff matchup, but this is the first time that quarterbacks Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa will face off head-to-head in the NFL.

Burrow, former LSU Tigers quarterback, spoke highly of Tagovailoa, the ex-Alabama Crimson Tide signal caller, ahead of their game on Thursday.

“He’s playing well. It’s exciting to see,” Burrow said, h/t ProFootballTalk. “All the quarterbacks in our draft class have been playing well and that’s always exciting to see. The more talent the better.”

Joe Burrow praises Tua Tagovailoa ahead of first NFL matchup

These two signal callers faced off against each other twice in college.

The first meeting took place in the 2018 season, where Tagovailoa and Alabama defeated Burrow and LSU 29-0. Tagovailoa completed 25-of-42 attempts for 205 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, while Burrow threw 18 completions for 184 yards, zero touchdowns, and one interception on 35 attempts.

Their second meeting was probably the best game of the entire 2019 season. Burrow, who was coasting to a Heisman Trophy win while playing on the historic Tigers team defeated Tagovailoa and the Crimson Tide 46-41. Burrow threw for 393 yards and three touchdowns while completing 31-of-39 attempts. Tagovailoa threw for 418 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception on 21 completions out of 40 attempts.

Tagovailoa was seen as the top quarterback prospect in the 2020 class, but a hip injury and Burrow’s ridiculous season caused his stock to drop. Burrow was selected first overall by the Bengals, while Tagovailoa was taken fifth-overall by the Dolphins. Yet, through his first two years, he has not matched the success that Burrow and sixth-overall pick Justin Herbert have had.

In his third year with the Dolphins, Tagovailoa has broken out. He has a stellar wide receiver duo in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, and an offensive-minded head coach in Mike McDaniel. Through three games, Tagovailoa completed 71.3-percent of his passes for 925 yards, eight touchdowns, and two interceptions.

Thursday Night Football will be the rubber match between Burrow and Tagovailoa, and we will see who will be victorious. Will it be Tagovailoa to continue Miami’s undefeated season? Or will it be Burrow to bring the Bengals to .500?

For more College Football news, analysis, opinion and unique coverage by FanSided, including Heisman Trophy and College Football Playoff rankings, be sure to bookmark these pages.

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