College football fans get a heavyweight battle to start the season. Alabama takes on Florida State on ABC at 8 p.m. Eastern. Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit will have the call on ABC’s Saturday Night Football.
Here’s a look at tonight’s marquee matchup.
Date: Saturday, September 2, 2017
Time: 8 p.m. Eastern
Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
TV Channel: ABC
Line: Alabama by 7 (Line is according to OddsShark and subject to change.)
Game Preview: Florida State and Alabama last met in 2007 where the Seminoles came away with a 21-14 victory. The game was later vacated by the NCAA.
The focus of today’s game will be on a pair of sophomore quarterbacks: Alabama’s Jalen Hurts and Florida State’s Deondre Francois. Hurts led Alabama to a national title game in his true freshman season. Francois survived suspect offensive line play in 2016, and showed bright spots last season.
Francois has plenty of weapons to throw to including star receiver Auden Tate. While Dalvin Cook moved on to the NFL, five-star freshman running back Cam Akers has generated a lot of buzz heading into the season.
Alabama also lost plenty of talent to the NFL, but have a consistent track record of reloading. This season is no different with a number of defensive playmakers still in Tuscaloosa including Da’Shawn Hand and Raekwon Davis.
On offense, Alabama’s strength lies in their stable of running backs. Bo Scarbrough expects to get the majority of carries. Alabama will also get contributions from Damien Harris and freshman Najee Harris.
Alabama has been dominant in neutral site openers, but have not faced a team of Florida State’s caliber to start the season. This is the first meaningful football game being played in Atlanta’s new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, where fans can expect a lot more marquee college football games to be in the coming years.
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