1. Will the game live up to the hype?
It’s only being billed as the Greatest Opener of All Time: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 3 Florida State in the new Mercedes-Benz Dome, probably the best stadium in the country. It couldn’t get any bigger. The question here is whether the game will deliver.
2. What will Brian Daboll’s offense look like?
After three years of Lane Kiffin, Alabama has a new offensive coordinator and, presumably, a new system and playbook. This isn’t the kind of game where a coach might hold things back to spring on another team later, so we should get a good look at what UA’s plan of attack will be.
3. Is the kicking game ready for prime time?
JK Scott is one of the nation’s best punters, but the rest of the kicking game will be scrutinized. Who will kick field goals (Scott is a candidate), and how will that go? There’s also the question of snap-and-hold mechanics, not to mention the return game on punts and kickoffs.
4. What kind of pass rush will Alabama muster?
Alabama led the nation in 2016 with 54 sacks, accumulating 433 yards in losses by opponent teams by this method. Florida State gave up 36 sacks last season, ranking 108th nationally in protection. Much of UA’s pass rush has graduated to the National Football League. How the new players in those roles produce may have a big impact on this game.