Seven reasons why Alabama should beat Florida State
Posted August 31, 2017 at 08:01 AM | Updated August 31, 2017 at 03:13 PM
Alabama Football 2016 – G01 vs USC
Alabama set for big matchup in new stadium
Following a long offseason, Alabama will return to the field Saturday at brand new Mercedes-Benz stadium.
The Tide’s showdown with Florida State is appointment television.
After losing in the last second to Clemson in the national championship game, Alabama will try to take down another ACC opponent to avoid its first losing streak since the 2013 season.
Here’s seven reasons why the Tide should steer clear of that fate and come out on top:
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7. Two of Florida State’s leading tacklers have obstacles to overcome
Alabama has an experienced offensive line and a collection of running backs considered the best in college football. Then there is Jalen Hurts, the Tide’s athletic quarterback who is known to venture outside the pocket.
The Seminoles will be challenged to stop Alabama’s ground attack. That’s especially true with Florida State’s third-leading tackler in 2016, safety Trey Marshall, missing the first half after he was ejected from the Seminoles’ Orange Bowl victory last January.
Marshall’s absence could loom large even though linebacker Matthew Thomas has been cleared to play. Thomas, the Florida State player who accumulated the most tackles last season, hasn’t practiced since early August because of an eligibility issue.
With only a few days to get into form, Thomas will be challenged to play at full speed and Florida State’s defense could be compromised as a result.
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6. Florida State runs a more “traditional” offense
Nick Saban said the Seminoles’ offense is more “traditional.”
“They’re not really a spread team,” he explained. “They have RPOs, but they don’t live and die with them.”
All of this is good news for the Tide, which hasn’t always fared well against teams that play a “fastball” style. The last two Alabama opponents that beat the Tide — Clemson and Ole Miss — ran up-tempo, no-huddle attacks that confused Alabama at times and also tired out its defense. Through early November of last season, SB Nation tracked the average time between plays for every team in the FBS. Florida State took 27.8 seconds between snaps. Only 23 teams in the top level of college football let more time elapse in those intervals between action.
If the Seminoles move as slowly Saturday, Alabama will be in better position to stop them.
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5. The novelty factor of Brian Daboll
There is a lot of mystery surrounding Brian Daboll. To what degree will Alabama’s newest coordinator change the offense?
The answers will come Saturday. But for the entire offseason Florida State could only speculate about what Daboll will do.
The Seminoles don’t have any film of Alabama with Daboll calling the plays. This gives the Tide ample opportunity to surprise Florida State with a whole set of new plays and formations.
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4. Jalen Hurts is a big-game player
Jalen Hurts was one second away from leading the Crimson Tide to its second consecutive national championship. All the way up until that point, Hurts showed remarkable poise as a freshman. He scored the only touchdown in a 10-0 rock fight against LSU.
He helped lead a remarkable comeback on the road at Ole Miss — a team that vanquished Alabama the year before.
Hurts doesn’t get fazed in the most pressure-packed settings and the brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be the site of what is being called the biggest college football season opener in the history of the sport. He’s the kind of quarterback any team would want in this kind of game.
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Published at Thu, 31 Aug 2017 13:01:00 +0000