Brian Burns and Josh Sweat, who combined for 16.5 sacks last season, will pose a major challenge for Alabama left tackle Jonah Williams and either Matt Womack or true freshman Jedrick Willis on the right side.
Alabama's defense didn't allow FSU to recover.
College football lovers understand that No. 21 Virginia Tech vs. It certainly will provide college football fans an exciting way to kick off the latest season in anticipation of many more games to come.
They each could have taken the easy way out.
The Florida State offensive line holding its own against Alabama for me is the single biggest key for FSU.
It might not be the smartest thing ever done - by either team - but it sure shows guts. Alabama opened the 2016 season inside AT&T Stadium with a 52-6 victory against then-No. They gave up 420 yards to the Tigers. Everyone goes home happy. Both teams ranked in the top 10 nationally in red zone defense, scoring defense, passing defense, and total defense. I'm already writing sports articles for the Daily Cardinal (a school newspaper). A pass-interference penalty by Anthony Averett gave Florida State a first-and-10 at the Alabama 20-yard line with 20 seconds remaining in the half.
Alabama usually wins, regardless of the betting line. We're going to have to get other players ready to compete at a high level that don't have much experience if we're going to continue to improve as a team.
WHAT BOOKS SAY: 'The FSU-Bama matchup is easily our biggest handle of Week 1 college football. "I think the combination of them only making one explosive play in the game and their inability to consistently run the ball was probably something that was a real benefit to us".
Knowing that, it's smarter to schedule a crummy opponent and get the easy win.
Since last season, the Rebels have come under further scrutiny from the NCAA, self-imposed a bowl ban and escorted ex-coach Hugh Freeze out of town. One loss doesn't eliminate anyone from the College Football Playoff - especially a quality loss to a team like Alabama.
Nyqwan Murray is the man to lead the Seminole's offensive line and can rise to the occasion just like his last time out when he made two most important catches for FSU's win over MI in the Orange Bowl. But you can't blame them when they are not. We know he's a tough competitor, but it seems the biggest question still centers around his passing ability. You'd play hard, too, if you'd had Will Muschamp gnawing at your behind all offseason.
Special teams: Make no mistake about it, this game is a clash of the titans. They cost FSU dearly Saturday. Fitzpatrick's field-goal block to end the first half, Damien Harris' blocked punt and linebacker Keith Holcombe's fumble recovery made that happen. Although the Mountaineers lose QB Skyler Howard, the offense could be even more explosive this season with Will Grier under center.
Francois will be asked to carry the load, at least early on, as his talented, but inexperienced, playmakers find their way, after losing the leading rusher (Dalvin Cook) and receiver (Travis Rudolph) from previous year. "We have a long season". Insane things can happen.
Florida State was forced to settle for a field goal try, which was blocked. If it's not the best in the nation, it's second best to Alabama's. It will be interesting to see how the defense copes without Rueben Foster's leadership and how the offense copes in year two of Jalen Hurts' reign, with a new offensive coordinator, but that will be a fascinating aspect to this game. But when the defense and special teams are as predictably and unflinchingly dominant as they were, 24 points by Alabama feels like 50 by anyone else.