Defense shines, yet mistakes doom Seminoles in loss to Alabama

Written by Manuel DeLeon
Atlanta, GA- 76,330 fans and spectators packed the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium to witness a clash between two powerhouse programs, Florida State (0-1,0-0) and Alabama (1-0,0-0) with the Crimson Tide reigning victorious over the Seminoles 24-7.

After much anticipation the score was finally settled. It started off right out the gate when Alabama running back Damien Harris took a Jalen Hurts handoff and raced 34 yards on the first play from scrimmage. From that moment on, Florida State just couldn’t seem to get out of their own way. Lead by a very stout defense, the Noles were ultimately hindered by untimely mistakes and special team mishaps.

On their lone scoring drive of the night, Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois marched his team 90 yards down the field, completing seven of seven passes and capped off the drive with a three-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Auden Tate. Florida State had the lead and momentum for about 2 minutes as Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts would find a streaking wide receiver in Calvin Ridley for a 53 yard touchdown strike on the ensuing drive for Alabama, giving the Tide a 10-7 lead heading into halftime.

When you have the momentum, it’s crucial you execute the game plan and maintain it. Fisher knows just how important that is. “When you get momentum, I always talk about that all the time,” says Fisher. “Momentum is a thing we don’t–it’s hard to swing, especially when you play good people.”

If this game showed anything, it showed that replacing a talent in former running back Dalvin Cook is tough for any coach. Going against a Nick Saban led defense makes it no easier. Running backs Jacques Patrick and freshman Cam Akers both found running against this Alabama defense to be just as expected, tough. Florida State as a whole was held to just 40 yards rushing.

Alabama lost six starters from last year’s defense, but it’s not about the players lost it’s about the situations you put your opponent in. So how did a team like Florida get held to 40 yards? “We started creating more negative circumstances on 1st and 2nd down, which put us in a better position on 3rd down.” said Saban.

​Led by safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton, the Tide were able to create those negative circumstances in the form of turnovers, by the way of a blocked field goal, one punt block and 2 Francois interceptions which in the end led to 11 easy points for Alabama.

Despite the score, the defense of Florida State proved they are serious,holding the Crimson Tide to 3 of 16 on third downs, but their offense didn’t do them any favors after going 4 of 13 on third down. Florida State safety Derwin James returned from an injury last season and displayed the ability and physicality that makes him one of the best players in the nation.

Florida State linebackerMatthew Thomas, who many thought wouldn’t play due to injury, led the ‘Noles with 10 tackles. With James adding six tackles and linebacker Ro’Derrick Hoskins another nine, the defense of Florida State held the Alabama offense to just 269 total yards.

Late in the 4th quarter, Francois went down with what appeared to be a serious knee injury and had to be carted off the field. Before going down Francois completed 19 passes for 210 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

The Noles lose their first week one game in Jimbo Fisher’s tenure as head coach but look to bounce back September 9th as Louisiana-Monroe visits Tallahassee. Kickoff starts at 7pm.

Share This Story:

Related Content