(1) Alabama - 24, (3) Florida State - 7
September 3, 2016
ATLANTA – The top-ranked University of Alabama football
team forced two interceptions, caused and recovered a
fumble and blocked two kicks in its 24-7 win over the No.
3-ranked Florida State Seminoles in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff
Game inside the brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The victory
extended the Crimson Tide's winning streak in season openers
to 16 straight games.
Alabama Crimson Tide running back Damien Harris (34)
blocks a punt by Florida State Seminoles place kicker
Logan Tyler (21) during the second half Saturday, Sept.
02, 2017 in Atlanta.
Photo Credit - MONICA HERNDON | TampaBayTimes
The Alabama special teams forced a fumble on a kickoff,
blocked a field goal and a punt, while converting on three
field goal attempts in the decisive victory. The Tide
defense buckled down in the second half, allowing the
potent Seminole offense just 65 total yards, while picking
off FSU quarterback Deondre Francois twice in the final 16
minutes of the game. Shaun Dion Hamilton led the Alabama
defense with eight tackles from his starting linebacker
spot, including 3.5 tackles for loss and a sack.
Jalen Hurts finished the night 10-of-18 for 96 yards and a
touchdown, while also rushing for 55 yards on 15 carries.
Damien Harris paced the Crimson Tide rushers, contributing
a team-high with 73 rushing yards on nine carries and a
touchdown. Calvin Ridley's big night helped him move to
fifth all-time in career receiving yards at Alabama with
1,896 after hauling in 82 yards on seven catches. He also
moved to fifth all-time in career receiving touchdowns after
catching a 53-yard touchdown in the first half.
Florida State's opening kickoff went deep into the end zone
for a touchback, giving Alabama the ball to start at its
own 25-yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, Harris
took the ball out of the backfield for a 34-yard rush to
the FSU 41-yard line. The Crimson Tide came up empty on the
drive, giving the Seminoles the ball at their own 34-yard
line. FSU drove the ball down to the UA 34-yard line, before
Hamilton sacked Francois for a four-yard loss, giving the
Crimson Tide the ball back on its own 38-yard line.
Facing third-and-10, Alabama's next drive was kept alive
when Hurts found Ridley for 21 yards to move the UA offense
to the Florida State 41-yard line. Two plays later, Hurts
took off for a 20-yard gain to the FSU 18. After three
plays of minimal gain, Andy Pappanastos netted a 35-yard
field goal to give Alabama the 3-0 lead with 4:30 left in
the first quarter. The Seminoles responded by moving the
ball 90 yards on 11 plays, capping off the drive with a
three-yard touchdown pass to put FSU up 7-3 with 13:41 to
go in the second quarter.
Alabama took the following kickoff out of the end zone to
the 15-yard line. Back-to-back short runs by freshman Najee
Harris set up a 3rd-and-2 conversion when Hurts found Ridley
for six yards. Hurts followed up on the next play with an
18-yard first down run, putting the ball on the UA 47-yard
line. The Tide took a 10-7 lead with 11:38 remaining in the
second quarter when Hurts found a wide-open Ridley
streaking down the middle of the field for a 53-yard
The two teams traded three-and-outs, before FSU took over
on the UA 31-yard line following a short punt. The Tide
defense stuffed the Seminoles, driving it back five yards
and forcing FSU to punt the ball back with 2:59 left in the
After an Alabama three-and-out, Florida State took over
from its own 30-yard line with 55 seconds remaining in
the second quarter. The Seminoles drove the ball down to
the UA 20-yard line to set up a 37-yard field goal attempt
with 10 seconds on the clock. On the FSU kick attempt,
Minkah Fitzpatrick pushed through the Seminoles' line to
block the attempt and keep the score locked at 10-7 heading
After the two teams traded punts to start the second half,
FSU was set to punt yet again, when Harris came off the
edge to block the Seminoles' effort and set the Tide offense
up at the FSU 6-yard marker. Three plays later, Pappanastos
converted on the 25-yard field goal attempt with 1:54 left
in the quarter to set the score at 13-7.
On the ensuing kickoff, the FSU returner took the ball out
of the end zone but fumbled, giving the ball back to
Alabama on the Seminoles' 11-yard line. Harris cashed in
on the next play, bolting up the middle for the score,
extending the Alabama lead to 19-7. Hurts found Ridley in
the end zone for the two-point conversion, putting the Tide
up 21-7 with 1:41 left in the third quarter.
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. Alabama came up empty on the drive, while
holding the 21-7 lead with 12:28 left in the game. FSU
started the following drive at their own 24-yard line,
before the Tide took the ball away for the third straight
possession when linebacker Mack Wilson picked off Francois
at the Florida State 34-yard line.
The two teams traded punts again before Pappanastos once
again split the uprights from 33-yards out, giving the
Crimson Tide the 24-7 advantage with 6:25 left in the game.
The Tide went on to control the clock and maintain it's
17-point lead to secure the season-opening win in Atlanta.
Alabama returns to action Saturday, Sept. 9, with its home
opener against Fresno State at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Kickoff
between the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs is set for 2:30 p.m.
CT with the game airing live on ESPN2.
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