No. 3 Florida State’s chances against No. 1 Alabama started slipping away bit by bit in the second half.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because it is. The Seminoles were simply Alabama’s latest victim in the Tide’s 24-7 win Saturday night in Atlanta.
College football’s most anticipated Week 1 game in years lived up to the billing for the first half. Florida State was Alabama’s equal for the entirety of the half and the speed and talent the Seminoles have was evident. This is a team that has every chance to win the ACC and get to the College Football Playoff if quarterback Deondre Francois is healthy. That could be a big if.
Alabama started to force the Seminoles into some big mistakes in the second half after entering halftime with a 10-7 lead. Running back Damien Harris — he started the game at running back ahead of Bo Scarbrough — blocked a third quarter Florida State punt deep in Seminoles territory. That led to a field goal.
On the ensuing kickoff, FSU wide receiver Keith Gavin fumbled. One play later, Harris was in the end zone on this gorgeous run.
Tack on a two-point conversion and Alabama’s lead was suddenly 21-7 in less than a minute of game time.
The 14-point lead might as well have been 41. Francois threw interceptions on Florida State’s next two possessions and then left the game in the fourth quarter with an apparent left knee injury. The sophomore scrambled to his right on a third-down play and got rolled up on. He was helped off the field, unable to put any weight on his leg.
Meanwhile, Alabama’s offense rediscovered the greatness that is wide receiver Calvin Ridley. He had seven catches for 82 yards, including a 53-yard touchdown for Alabama’s first score of the game. Quarterback Jalen Hurts was far from spectacular, but he played turnover-free football. That was enough in a game of this caliber, especially with how the Alabama defense clamped down in the second half.
Heck, Alabama even got big contributions from defensive lineman Raekwon Davis, who sacked Francois in the second half. Davis was shot last weekend in an incident at a club in Tuscaloosa. If Saturday night is any indication of Alabama’s season, it’s going to be a really rough year for the Tide’s opponents.
More college football coverage from Yahoo Sports:
• UAB staffer gets up from wheelchair to deliver game ball
• Florida offense sputtering again after 33-17 loss to Michigan
• Maryland throttles Texas 51-41 in Tom Herman’s first game
• Michigan LB escapes targeting penalty after hit that fits definition of targeting
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