Drive Chart
FSU
BAMA

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No. 1 Alabama smothers No. 3 Florida State in opener, 24-7

ATLANTA (AP) Sparkling confetti rained on Alabama during a celebration in the middle of Atlanta's glitzy new stadium.

The top-ranked Crimson Tide hopes to return in January for an even bigger party.

Dominating on defense and taking advantage of an awful special teams showing by No. 3 Florida State, the Crimson Tide got started on what has become its annual quest for the national title with a 24-7 beatdown of the Seminoles on Saturday night at $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

''It's good to get a win, but we have a lot of work to do,'' Alabama coach Nick Saban said, before adding ominously for the rest of the nation:

''We'll get better.''

The new stadium, filled to the rafters with 76,330 fans split almost evenly between the schools, hosted one of the most anticipated opening games in college football history .

At the end of the season, it will be the site of the national championship game.

Don't bet against Alabama making a return appearance.

''It's one game. We have a long season,'' Saban said. ''The focus that we have right now is what's ahead, not what's behind.''

Damien Harris ran for a touchdown and blocked a punt , while Jalen Hurts chipped in with a scoring pass in a game that basically required the sophomore quarterback to make no major mistakes.

This one was all about that dynamic Bama D.

And Florida State's not-so-special teams.

''We work 30 to 35 minutes a day on special teams,'' coach Jimbo Fisher moaned. ''We had breakdowns. Those were critical plays in the game.''

Coming off a last-second loss in last season's title game , Alabama picked off two passes by Deondre Francois in the second half, snuffing out any hopes of a Florida State comeback. Throw in a blocked punt, a blocked field goal and a fumble recovery on a kickoff return, and there was really no path to victory for the Seminoles in the first opener between two teams in the top three of The Associated Press preseason rankings.

The Tide led 10-7 at halftime, catching a huge break in the closing seconds when the officials didn't call a pass interference penalty.

Tony Brown never looked for the ball, running into Nyqwan Murray as he tried to go for a scoring catch that would have given the Seminoles a lead. When Florida State was forced to settle for a 37-yard field goal attempt, Minkah Fitzpatrick leaped up to make the block on the final play of the half, preserving the lead and prompting a round of boos from the FSU faithful as the officials trotted off the field.

Appearing deflated, the Seminoles never got anything going over the final two quarters. Levi Wallace and Mack Wilson both had interceptions, and Francois' night ended with him being helped off the field - putting no weight on his left knee - after being sacked from behind by blitzing safety Ronnie Harrison.

Francois grabbed at his knee even as he was going down.

It was a potentially crushing blow on a night that already went bad enough for the Seminoles.

''I hugged him,'' Fisher said. ''We'll get the diagnosis and figure out what we've got to do from here.''

With the Tide still clinging to that three-point lead, the game was essentially decided by a seven-play sequence toward the end of the third quarter.

Logan Tyler's punt was smothered by Harris, racing in from the left side, and Dylan Moses fell on it at the Florida State 6. The Seminoles made an impressive stand, forcing Alabama to settle for Andy Pappanastos' 25-yard field goal.

It was all for naught when, on the ensuing kickoff, Keith Gavin muffed the ball in the end zone, picked it up, ran into one of his own men, and then fumbled on a hit by Moses. Keith Holcombe recovered at the 11, and Harris ran up the middle for a touchdown on the very next play, splitting two would-be tacklers at the 5.

Florida State managed only 65 yards in the second half and finished with 250 in the game. Alabama had just 269 yards but it didn't really matter with all the chances created by the defense and special teams.

''This game tells us where we are,'' Saban said, ''and where we need to go.''

THE TAKEAWAY

Alabama: The Tide looked very much like a team worthy of its No. 1 ranking. While the no-call on the potential pass interference penalty was a huge break, there was no doubt about the better team in this game. The offense still needs a bit of work, especially the passing game. Saban grumbled that his team ''didn't make a lot of explosive plays.''

Florida State: The Seminoles were looking to regain a bit of their swagger after back-to-back 10-3 seasons, which would be a cause for celebration at most schools but not in Tallahassee. Florida State thought it had the squad to contend again for a national title, but the offense was no match for the Crimson Tide. Throw in Francois' injury, and the outlook is suddenly a whole lot bleaker.

ROOF CLOSED

Atlanta built a retractable roof stadium for nights such as this.

Clear skies. Temperatures in the low 70s.

Unfortunately, the camera-lens-like structure is still a work in progress. While capable of opening and closing, the process takes too long to take any chances during a game. So, for the foreseeable future, it will remain closed.

KICKING WOES

Taking over as Alabama's No. 1 kicker, Pappanastos had a rough night.

The transfer from Ole Miss kicked three field goals, also connecting from 35 and 33 yards, but he missed his two longest attempts of 42 and 41 yards.

UP NEXT

Alabama: Hosts Fresno State next Saturday in first game of the season at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Florida State: Returns home to face Louisiana-Monroe next weekend.

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Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paul%20newberry

---

More AP college football coverage: www.collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Copyright 2017 by STATS. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.

Scoring Summary
4th Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 6:31
12-A.Pappanastos 33 yards Field Goal is Good.
6
plays
-34
yds
02:51
pos
7
24
3rd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Two Point Conversion 1:41
2-J.Hurts complete to 3-C.Ridley. 3-C.Ridley to FSU End Zone for 2 yards. Conversion is good.
plays
yds
pos
7
21
Touchdown 1:41
34-D.Harris runs 11 yards for a touchdown.
1
plays
11
yds
00:06
pos
7
19
Field Goal 1:59
12-A.Pappanastos 25 yards Field Goal is Good.
4
plays
-59
yds
02:18
pos
7
13
2nd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 11:28
12-A.Pappanastos extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
7
10
Touchdown 11:28
2-J.Hurts complete to 3-C.Ridley. 3-C.Ridley runs 53 yards for a touchdown.
6
plays
27
yds
02:08
pos
7
9
Point After TD 13:41
23-R.Aguayo extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
7
3
Touchdown 13:47
12-D.Francois complete to 18-A.Tate. 18-A.Tate runs 3 yards for a touchdown.
11
plays
90
yds
5:04
pos
6
3
1st Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 4:36
12-A.Pappanastos 35 yards Field Goal is Good.
9
plays
44
yds
2:33
pos
0
3
Team Stats
1st Downs 15 13
Rushing 4 8
Passing 10 4
Penalty 1 1
3rd Down Conv 4-13 3-16
4th Down Conv 0-1 2-2
Total Net Yards 230 262
Total Plays 60 60
Avg Gain 3.8 4.4
Net Yards Rushing 40 173
Rush Attempts 27 42
Avg Rush Yards 1.5 4.1
Net Yards Passing 190 89
Comp. - Att. 19-33 10-18
Yards Per Pass 5.8 4.9
Sacked - Yards Lost 3-20 2-7
Penalties - Yards 4-60 6-60
Touchdowns 1 2
Rushing TDs 0 1
Passing TDs 1 1
Other 0 0
Turnovers 3 0
Fumbles - Lost 1-1 0-0
Int. Thrown 2 0
Punts - Avg 6-31.5 6-35.2
Return Yards 20 15
Punts - Returns 0-0 0-0
Kickoffs - Returns 2-20 1-15
Int. - Returns 0-0 2-0
Kicking 1/2 4/6
Extra Points 1/1 1/1
Field Goals 0/1 3/5
Safeties 0 0
1234T
3 Florida State 0-1 07007
1 Alabama 1-0 3711324
190 PASS YDS 89
40 RUSH YDS 173
230 TOTAL YDS 262
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
D. Francois 12 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
57.6% 210 1 2 108.9
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
57.6% 210 1 2 108.9
D. Francois 19/33 210 1 2
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
C. Akers 3 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
10 30 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
10 30 0
C. Akers 10 30 0 9
J. Patrick 9 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
6 17 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
6 17 0
J. Patrick 6 17 0 9
K. Gavin 89 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 6 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 6 0
K. Gavin 1 6 0 6
G. Campbell 11 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 -4 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 -4 0
G. Campbell 1 -4 0 -4
D. Francois 12 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
9 -9 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
9 -9 0
D. Francois 9 -9 0 4
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
K. Gavin 89 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
7 50 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
7 50 0
K. Gavin 7 50 0 15
R. Izzo 81 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 46 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
3 46 0
R. Izzo 3 46 0 24
A. Tate 18 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 41 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 41 1
A. Tate 2 41 1 38
N. Murray 8 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 29 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
3 29 0
N. Murray 3 29 0 15
G. Campbell 11 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 21 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 21 0
G. Campbell 1 21 0 21
J. Patrick 9 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 12 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 12 0
J. Patrick 2 12 0 7
C. Akers 3 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 11 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 11 0
C. Akers 1 11 0 11
Defense T-A SACK INT
M. Thomas 6 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
8-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
8-2 0 0.0
M. Thomas 8-2 0.0 0
R. Hoskins 18 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
7-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
7-2 0 0.0
R. Hoskins 7-2 0.0 0
E. Lane 7 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-1 0 0.0
E. Lane 5-1 0.0 0
T. McFadden 4 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 0.0
T. McFadden 5-0 0.0 0
T. Marshall 20 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
T. Marshall 3-0 0.0 0
F. Jones 55 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-2 0 0.5
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-2 0 0.5
F. Jones 3-2 0.5 0
J. Pugh 16 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
J. Pugh 3-1 0.0 0
D. James 3 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-2 0 0.0
D. James 3-2 0.0 0
D. Christmas 90 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
D. Christmas 2-0 0.0 0
J. Sweat 9 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-3 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-3 0 1.0
J. Sweat 2-3 1.0 0
B. Burns 99 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
B. Burns 2-0 0.0 0
H. Nasirildeen 23 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
H. Nasirildeen 2-1 0.0 0
H. Paul 23 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
H. Paul 1-0 0.0 0
J. Wilkerson 30 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
J. Wilkerson 1-0 0.0 0
A. Westbrook 19 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-2 0 0.0
A. Westbrook 1-2 0.0 0
D. Nnadi 91 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-5 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-5 0 0.0
D. Nnadi 1-5 0.0 0
B. Barrett 36 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.5
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.5
B. Barrett 0-1 0.5 0
J. Kaindoh 13 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
J. Kaindoh 0-1 0.0 0
L. Taylor 1 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
L. Taylor 0-1 0.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
R. Aguayo 23 K
IN-GAME FG XP
0/1 1/1
SEASON FG XP
0/1 1/1
R. Aguayo 0/1 0 1/1 1
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
L. Tyler 21 K
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
6 31.5 2
SEASON NO AVG IN20
6 31.5 2
L. Tyler 6 31.5 2 40
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
K. Gavin 89 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 10.0 10 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
2 10.0 10 0
K. Gavin 2 10.0 10 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
J. Hurts 2 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
55.6% 96 1 0 118.7
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
55.6% 96 1 0 118.7
J. Hurts 10/18 96 1 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
D. Harris 34 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
9 73 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
9 73 1
D. Harris 9 73 1 34
J. Hurts 2 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
15 55 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
15 55 0
J. Hurts 15 55 0 20
B. Scarbrough 9 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
15 40 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
15 40 0
B. Scarbrough 15 40 0 8
N. Harris 22 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
3 5 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
3 5 0
N. Harris 3 5 0 3
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
C. Ridley 3 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
7 82 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
7 82 1
C. Ridley 7 82 1 53
D. Harris 34 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 11 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 11 0
D. Harris 1 11 0 11
B. Scarbrough 9 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 4 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 4 0
B. Scarbrough 1 4 0 4
H. Ruggs 11 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
H. Ruggs 0 0 0 0
J. Jeudy 4 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
J. Jeudy 0 0 0 0
J. Hurts 2 QB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 -1 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 -1 0
J. Hurts 1 -1 0 -1
Defense T-A SACK INT
S. Hamilton 20 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
7-1 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
7-1 0 1.0
S. Hamilton 7-1 1.0 0
R. Harrison 15 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 1.0
R. Harrison 5-0 1.0 0
M. Fitzpatrick 29 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 0.0
M. Fitzpatrick 5-0 0.0 0
D. Payne 94 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-1 0 0.0
D. Payne 4-1 0.0 0
A. Averett 28 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-3 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-3 0 0.0
A. Averett 3-3 0.0 0
M. Wilson 30 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 1 0.0
M. Wilson 3-0 0.0 1
C. Miller 47 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
C. Miller 2-1 0.0 0
H. Jones 6 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
H. Jones 2-0 0.0 0
I. Buggs 49 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
I. Buggs 2-0 0.0 0
L. Wallace 39 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-1 1 0.0
L. Wallace 1-1 0.0 1
T. Brown 2 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
T. Brown 1-0 0.0 0
Q. Williams 92 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
Q. Williams 1-0 0.0 0
R. Evans 32 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-3 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-3 0 0.0
R. Evans 1-3 0.0 0
R. Davis 99 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
R. Davis 1-0 1.0 0
T. Diggs 7 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
T. Diggs 1-0 0.0 0
S. Carter 5 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
S. Carter 0-1 0.0 0
A. Jennings 33 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
A. Jennings 0-1 0.0 0
K. Holcombe 42 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
K. Holcombe 0-1 0.0 0
J. Frazier 69 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
J. Frazier 0-1 0.0 0
C. Sims 17 WR
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
C. Sims 0-1 0.0 0
M. Brown 48 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
M. Brown 0-1 0.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
A. Pappanastos 12 K
IN-GAME FG XP
3/5 1/1
SEASON FG XP
3/5 1/1
A. Pappanastos 3/5 35 1/1 10
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
J. Scott 10 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
6 35.2 3
SEASON NO AVG IN20
6 35.2 3
J. Scott 6 35.2 3 53
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
H. Ruggs 11 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 15.0 15 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
1 15.0 15 0
H. Ruggs 1 15.0 15 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
10:57 FSU 25 3:04 8 13
4:26 FSU 10 4:02 8 71 End of quarter
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
11:28 FSU 25 0:59 3 7 Punt
9:15 FSU 25 2:32 5 21 Punt
4:45 BAMA 31 1:31 3 -5 Punt
1:01 FSU 30 0:51 6 50 FG Miss
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 FSU 25 4:47 8 27 Punt
6:23 FSU 7 1:58 5 18 Punt
1:41 FSU 25 0:37 2 33 INT
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
12:28 FSU 24 0:00 1 76 INT
10:48 FSU 6 1:16 3 2 Punt
6:25 FSU 25 0:45 3 0 Punt
1:36 FSU 7 1:10 4 15 End of game
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 BAMA 25 3:57 9 0 FG Miss
7:48 BAMA 38 3:12 9 -3 FG
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:36 BAMA 15 2:08 6 27 TD
10:21 BAMA 33 0:57 3 2 Punt
6:38 BAMA 14 1:45 3 8 Punt
3:06 BAMA 24 1:56 4 -7 Punt
0:00 BAMA 46 0:00 1 0 End of quarter
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
10:04 BAMA 19 3:29 8 29 Punt
4:17 FSU 6 2:18 4 -1 FG
1:47 FSU 11 0:06 1 11 TD
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 FSU 38 2:27 6 -38 FG Miss
12:22 FSU 31 1:23 3 -3 Punt
9:22 FSU 31 2:51 6 -34 FG
5:29 BAMA 40 3:43 5 17 Punt