For the first time in college football history, two of the top three teams got together Saturday night in the season opener. The game took place at the new $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.
After a sloppy first half, the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide pulled away as they “rolled” to a 24-7 victory over No. 3 Florida State.
The loss was a double-whammy for FSU as they likely lost their starting quarterback Deondre Francois for the remainder of the season after he was taken down on a hard tackle late in the fourth quarter.
After Alabama struck first on a 35-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead, FSU answered as the team went 90 yards and capped it off with a touchdown pass from Francois to Auden Tate for the 3-yard score. It was the first and only lead of the game for the Seminoles.
Perfect pass from Jalen Hurts to Calvin Ridley pic.twitter.com/zdQQ5mY5eZ
— Saturday Down South (@SDS) September 3, 2017
Alabama responded with a five-play drive that covered 85 yards thanks to a 53-yard touchdown pass from Jalen Hurts to Calvin Ridley to put Alabama back on top at 10-7.
In the second half it was all the Crimson Tide as the defense and special teams put the game out of reach. Alabama’s Damien Harris got it going as he blocked a punt to setup a score. On the ensuing kickoff, the Seminoles fumbled the ball to set another Crimson Tide score as Harris punched it in for an 11-yard touchdown run. A two-point conversion from Hurts to Ridley to push Alabama’s lead to 21-7.
Noteworthy: With the season-opening win, Alabama improved to 14-1 in games played in Atlanta and are 8-0 in neutral site season openers. … The final score matches that of the last time Alabama played in Atlanta, a 24-7 win over Washington in a College Football Playoff semifinal at the Peach Bowl. … FSU will look to rebound and become the first team since 1983 (Miami) to win a national championship after losing its season opener.