No. 1 Alabama, No. 3 Florida State meet in massive opener


In 2016, Alabama's offense averaged 455-yards of total offense per game and scored 38.8 points per game, Daboll who joins the Crimson Tide after being an assistant coach for the New England Patriots clearly understands what it takes to be great.

Hurts sounded downright unimpressed by all those trappings when the sophomore quarterback was asked Monday if he's used to these kinds of games.

Alabama has won its past 15 opening games, including four in Atlanta, while FSU has won seven straight openers.

The two middle backers for Alabama are Rashaan Evans and Shaun Dion Hamilton who combined for 117 tackles last season and the outside pass rush could feature 6-foot-4, 240-pound Christian Miller and 6-foot-5, 253-pound Terrell Lewis. "That's how a lot of first games are".

Last year's 52-6 romp over then-No.

As much as anybody, the Seminoles have done their part to disprove the notion that the Southeastern Conference is college football's top league.

"It's in the rearview, but the thing about a rearview mirror is you can see it", Hurts said. This isn't surprising with the way the Crimson Tide waxed USC in the opening weekend of the 2016 college football season.

The Seminoles are ranked No. 3 in the preseason Coaches Poll as well as in the AP Top 25 Rankings following their 10-3 season in 2016 beating MI in last season's Orange Bowl Game. The Tide is favored by a touchdown.

"We're still gathering information", he said.

But both teams, win or lose, will face several more marquee matchups as the season progresses.

Just don't try hyping it to Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban. You can summarize a great deal of that process as working toward the strategy of controlling and winning games at the point of attack in the trenches.

Alabama's ground game is likely the key to success against what appears to be one of the top defensive units in the Nation.

Fisher could have just as well been describing his own team in praising Alabama. "Have big guys, dynamic guys and playmakers across the board". Whether they can plug in yet another cast of NFL-caliber players to their defensive front while building on a sturdier foundation on offense will determine if that's still enough to make for another playoff run. All those things are benefits, and the second thing is that it shows you where your team is.

Davis was shot in the right leg outside a Tuscaloosa bar early Sunday morning. A Sheriff's department spokesman described the injury as minor.



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