Alabama started with the ball on their own 25-yard line and wasted no time as their first play from scrimmage was a 34 yard run by Damien Harris. This gave Bama a 1st and 10 from the FSU 41 yard line. Then 3 plays later, Bama would elect to go for it on 4th and 2 from the Noles’ 33-yard line. Bo Scarbrough, on his first carry of the game, would pick up three yards to get the 1st down.
After that, the Noles’ would again hold strong forcing a 4th and 5, where Bama would settle for a 42-yard field goal attempt. However, it just missed wide right and the Noles’ took over at their own 25-yard line.
After moving the ball swiftly down field, on their first drive, FSU stalled out once they got into Bama territory. They would face a 4th and 2 from the Bama and elect to go for it. As FSU QB Deondre Francois took the snap, he looked to have a man open streaking up the middle of the field. However, the Bama D-Line was able to get a stout push and sack Francois for a 4-yard loss, resulting in a turnover on downs.
The Tide would begin their second drive on their own 38-yard line. They were quickly able to get into FSU territory, but not before disaster was avoided on a near pick 6 from FSU’s Derwin James. His deflection was grabbed by Bama QB Jalen Hurts for a small gain. However, after getting into Noles’ territory, their drive once again stalled. They would have to settle for a 35 yard Andy Pappanastos Field Goal that sailed through the uprights to make it 3-0 Alabama.
Then it was the Noles’ turn to answer, and answer they did. Deondre Francois went completed 7 of 7 passes for 86 yards on the drive, capping it off with a 3 yard TD pass to Auden Tate in the back right of the endzone to give FSU the 7-3 lead with just under 14 minutes left in the 2nd quarter.
On the ensuing possession for Alabama, Jalen Hurts was able to gain 23 yards on the ground on two rushes before hitting Calvin Ridley for a 53-yard scoring strike. This made it 10-7 Alabama with 11:28 left in the half.
The Noles’ were unable to answer the score on their nect possession as they were forced into their first punt of the game. This would start a defensive battle as the Noles’ forced and Alabama punt and the Tide forced another FSU punt.
FSU was able to stiffen up again and force another Bama punt that would just travel 9 yards. This gave them possession of the ball 1st and 10 at the Alabama 31 yard line. Despite the amazing field position, the Noles’ were unable to capitalize after having multiple negative yardage plays that forced them into a 3 and out.
Alabama’s next drive looked to be a quickie, then on 3rd down and 8 from their own 26-yard line, Hurts connected with Jerry Jeudy for a 15 yard 1st down. However the first penalty of the game, a holding call on Alabama right guard Lester Cotton would negate the play, making it 3rd and 18. They would not be able to pick it up and would be forced to punt.
The Noles’ took over, 1st and 10 at their own 30-yard line with just 1:01 left on the clock. They were able to quickly move into Alabama territory after two quick passes from Deondre Francois to Ryan Izzo, and a pass interference call on Alabama. However, on a 3rd and 10 from the Bama 20, Francois looked to connect with Nyqwan Murray in the endzone, but an Alabama defender drilled him in the chest before the ball got to him, but there was no call on the field. This made it 4th down and the Noles’ were forced to kick a 37-yard field goal that would be blocked. Alabama took a 10-7 lead into the locker room at the half.