The 2017 NCAA Football season opens with a titanic matchup on Saturday night as the #1 Ranked Alabama Crimson Tide will battle the #3 ranked Florida State Seminoles.
Coach Jimbo Fisher has made it a habit of beating SEC competition as he owns a 9-1 record over the SEC. He has been the head man in Tallahassee.
Jalen Hurts as a freshman led the Tide to the National title game and overall, unless you are a freshman at Alabama, you have played in much bigger games than this. Florida State on the other hand is a team that is not as use to this.
Fisher and Saban are the only two active head coaches with a winning record against teams ranked in the Top 25.
Neither coach has lost a season opener while at their current job.
Behind yet another tremendous O-line, and with a loaded backfield highlighted by a dangerous running quarterback in Jalen Hurts and running back Bo Scarbrough, the Crimson Tide offense might just line up, pound away, and dare Florida State’s defensive front to hold up for a full four quarters.
The talent is certainly there on the Seminole front four, and the run defense was a brick wall last year after being ripped up by the Lamar Jackson show and the South Florida spread attack, but this might be different. This should be a war of attrition. A war of attrition I think favors Alabama and the Tide ground attack would be the difference in a game like that.
With Derwin James back and healthy to lead a loaded group of NFL defensive backs, don’t expect Hurts to all of sudden turn into Tom Brady when he needs to get the passing attack working.
Making matters worse, three of last year’s top four Alabama pass catchers have to be replaced, so if FSU can hold up against the run and force third-and-longs–and keep Hurts from taking off–the D will get the Tide off the field. Hurts has not always been the best pocket passer and if Florida State’s defensive line can keep Hurts in the pocket the Seminoles secondary will cause turnovers.
These are two teams that could rematch in the college football playoffs and I see this first matchup going to the Crimson Tide running game. Look for Bo Scarbrough’s legs and Jalen Hurts ability to scramble to be the difference in a tight game.
Prediction: Alabama 24 Florida State 21
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