By: Fletcher Keel | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
September 2, 2017
ATLANTA, Ga. (WCTV) -- The Florida State Seminoles were within a field goal of being tied with the Alabama Crimson Tide at halftime but could not over come a series of self-inflicted wounds in the second half as the Tide defeated the Noles, 24-7, in the season opener for both teams in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game.
With less than two minutes to go in the third quarter, Alabama blocked an FSU punt deep in Seminoles territory, but the ‘Noles defense stood tall and forced the Tide to settle for a 25-yard field goal to take a 13-3 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff, Bama forced a fumble and recovered at FSU’s 11 yardline and on the first play from scrimmage, Damien Harris ran it in for the Tide to give Bama a 21-7 lead after a successful two-point conversion.
After that point, FSU never refound their footing on offense, going either three-and-out or turning the ball over on each possession, including Noles quarterback Deondre Francois throwing interceptions on consecutive passes, marking the first time in his career he has thrown multiple interceptions.
The Tide added a field goal with 9:17 let to play, and the Noles were unable to answer.
In the second-to-last drive of the game, the Francois went down with a left-leg injury after being sacked from behind on third down.
Alabama scored the only points of the first quarter on a 36-yard field goal by Andy Pappanastos to give the Tide a 3-0, but the Seminoles answered early in the second quarter when Francois found Auden Tate in the corner of the end zone from three yards out to put the Noles on top, 7-3.
The Tide didn’t take long to answer back however, doing so on the very next drive thanks in large part to a Jalen Hurts 53-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Ridley to put Bama on top 10-3 with 11:28 to play in the half.
After that score, the Noles and Tide swapped three-and-outs until the Noles threatened in the final drive of the half and set up for a 37-yard field goal attempt but it was blocked by Minkah Fitzpatrick to bring the half to a close.
FSU totaled 250 yards of offense while Bama had 269. The Noles only successfully rushed for 40 yards, while Francois went 19-for-33 through the air for 210 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game.
Alabama quarterback Hurts went 10-of-18 through the air for 96 yards and added 55 more on 15 rushes. Ridley hauled in seven catches for 82 yards and his touchdown score.
The Seminoles return to action next Saturday for their first home game of the season as they host the ULM Warhawks.