Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley makes a catch in front of Florida State defensive back Tarvarus McFadden during Saturday night's season opener at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. His 82 receiving yards give him 1,896 career receiving yards, good enough for fifth best all-time at Alabama. 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. Last season, Francois threw for 3,350 yards with 20 touchdowns.
Alabama's Keith Holcombe recovered the fumble at FSU's 11-yard line, and Harris scored on an 11-yard run on the next play.
Jalen Hurts finished the night 10-of-18 for 96 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing for 55 yards on 15 carries.
The fumbled kickoff gave Alabama the ball at the FSU 11 yard line and the Crimson Tide punched it in the end zone on one running play plus the two point conversion.
"This was obviously a great team win for us", Saban said.
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The fact the Roberts' recommendation was seemingly ignored by the league was what the NFLPA harped on during the appeal hearing. She was then blocked from speaking to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell when he held a meeting to discuss discipline for Elliott.
It is the nature of the sport for the quarterbacks to get the majority of the attention, but for all the time the media spent on Francois and Alabama's fellow super sophomore quarterback Jalen Hurts prior to (and during) the game, it was the Tide's duo of versatile defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick and run-stuffing defensive tackle Da'Ron Payne who easily made the biggest splashes from an National Football League draft perspective. 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.
Francois earned ACC Rookie of the Year and ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2016, leading all freshman QBs with 3,350 yards and 20 touchdowns.
The defense played lights out to hold them to two field goals and a touchdown on those plays.
Ridley once again comes up big Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Calvin Ridley (3) reacts with offensive lineman Bradley Bozeman (75) after catching a pass for a successful two-point conversion against the Florida State Seminoles in the third quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. That advantage would be very short-lived, however, as Hurts had the 18-yard run and the 53-yard scoring strike to Ridley with 11:28 before halftime, which capped the scoring for the first 30 minutes. "It was not a spectacular showing, but at the end of the day, I feel like we wore them down". Despite a strong performance from Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois, who torched the Tide for 161 yards and a touchdown on 14 of 22 passes in the first half, Alabama was able to step up when it mattered. 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.
Alabama will open its home schedule this Saturday against Fresno State.