The Florida State Seminoles' disastrous opener against the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday night might end up being a lot worse than the final score. His 82 receiving yards give him 1,896 career receiving yards, good enough for fifth best all-time at Alabama.
For most of three quarters on Saturday night, No. 1 Alabama couldn't pull away from No. 3 Florida State in their season opener at the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game. The play set up a 25-yard field goal from Pappanastos to put Alabama up 13-7 with 1:54 left in the third quarter.
Francois later emerged from a medical tent on the sideline wearing a heavy brace on his left leg and using crutches. Coach Saban talked to us, and I felt like we got the ball rolling in the second half and started executing better. Fitzpatrick, who surrendered just one touchdown all of last season, was in excellent position to defend the play and closed quickly, ripping at the ball as Tate secured it, but, in this case, the bigger man won. The reigning SEC offensive player of the year had an 18-yard run and a 53-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Ridley on consecutive plays early in the second quarter to give Alabama a 10-7 lead.
Hurts finished the day 10 of 18 passing for 96 yards with and a touchdown.
Alabama and Florida State are now in a slugfest - the type of game where every yard matters.
Less than a minute later, the Tide took back the ball again when Levi Wallace picked off Francois' pass at the FSU 42-yard line.
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Terrell Lewis broke into the backfield to stop Florida State's George Campbell for a 4-yard loss on first down. "They've got a great defensive team, and it took everything that we had in all facets of the game". Guess what, the 'Noles lost by 17 points but there was a defensive pass interference that went uncalled against Alabama that caused FSU too.
Even after the loss, the Seminoles can certainly climb back into the CFP race, depending on Francois' health. Including a 53-yard touchdown in which he shook FSU true freshman cornerback Stanford Samuels III with a classic stutter step, before racing past him to haul in a ideal strike from Hurts.
Hurts had a 21-yard pass to Ridley and a 20-yard run on Alabama's second possession, which ended with a 35-yard Pappanastos field goal and a 3-0 Tide lead.
The defense played lights out to hold them to two field goals and a touchdown on those plays. Any chance at a miracle comeback by Florida State was erased when Francois appeared to suffer a serious injury to his right leg after a hard (but clean) hit from Alabama safety Ronnie Harrison in the fourth quarter. The Seminoles, meanwhile, will host Louisiana-Monroe hoping that their young quarterback will be available.
Alabama will open its home schedule this Saturday against Fresno State.