No. 1 Alabama wins big showdown against No. 3 Florida State

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.

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.

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No. 11 Michigan takes down No. 17 Florida at AT&T Stadium

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