NOTE: For the 2017 University of Alabama football season, TideSports intern Terrin Waack will provide select stellar stats, obscure facts and notable quotes from the most recent game to show how the Crimson Tide uses “The Process” against its opponents.
ATLANTA — No. 1 Alabama defeated No. 3 Florida State, 24-7, at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday in front of 76,330 people in what was dubbed the Greatest Opener of All Time (or GOAT, for short).
* This was the highest-ranked opener ever. The closest it has come in the past was between No. 1 and 4 teams. Alabama and Florida State are also the two winningest programs in college football since 2010 with 87 and 78 wins, respectively. This is the eason it was named the GOAT.
* The Crimson Tide extends it opening-weekend win streak to 16. That’s the same number as national championship titles that UA claims. Alabama has never lost a season-opener under Nick Saban (11-0).
* Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley is making top-five moves. He is now tied for fifth on UA career touchdown receptions list with 15 and is fifth on the program’s career receiving yards chart with 1,896. He’s a junior.
* Florida State finished with only 40 rushing yards. Alabama had 173.
* This is the opposite of stellar: Four Alabama linebackers were injured. Saban updated their status after the game. Rashaan Evans has a groin injury. Terrell Lewis hurt his elbow. Christian Miller has a biceps injury. Anfernee Jennings sprained his ankle. All are likely questionable for this week’s game.
* History shows the team that scores first in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game ends up winning: 10 out of 12 have proved that. Alabama was first on the board thanks to Andy Pappanastos’ 34-yard field goal with 4:30 left in the first quarter.
* There has never been a blocked field goal or blocked punt in Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game history. Alabama did both. Minkah Fitzpatrick blocked Florida State’s 37-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter. Damien Harris blocked an FSU punt in the third quarter.
* In total, Alabama and Florida State scored 31 combined points. That’s the lowest in Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game history. The prior low was in 2008, with 44 between Alabama and Clemson.
* Saban has only ever lost one game in Atlanta (14-1), and it was an SEC championship matchup against Florida in 2008. He has won every game with Chick-fil-A in its name that he has coached in: Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game (5-0) and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (1-0).
* During the second quarter, JK Scott had a 9-yard punt for Alabama. The next drive, Logan Tyler had a 12-yarder for Florida State. Shank begets shank?
Quoting Nick Saban
On the blocked punt…
“Should have scooped it and scored it instead of falling on it, but sometimes freshmen are freshmen.”
Quoting the Crimson Tide
UA linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton on the new stadium…
“I didn’t know that the Jumbotron did a full 360. I was looking around the whole time.”
Quoting the opponent
FSU coach Jimbo Fisher on quarterback Deondre Francois’ fourth-quarter injury…
“I hugged him and told him I’m sorry he’s hurt, we’ll get the diagnosis and I love him. And we’ll figure out what we’ve got to do from here.”
Name of the game
FSU: Demarcus Christmas
The redshirt junior is a defensive tackle for the Seminoles.
Top 3 rushers
1. UA: Damien Harris, nine carries for 73 yards and a touchdown
2. UA: Jalen Hurts, 15 carries for 55 yards
3. UA: Bo Scarbrough, 15 carries for 40 yards
Top 3 receivers
1. UA: Calvin Ridley, seven receptions for 82 yards and a touchdown
2. FSU: Keith Gavin, eight receptions for 61 yards
3. FSU: Nyqwan Murry, three receptions for 29 yards
Top 3 passers
1. UA: Jalen Hurts, 10-18-0 for 96 yards and a touchdown (sacked twice)
2. FSU: Deondre Francois, 19-33-2 for 210 yards and a touchdown (sacked three times)
Top 3 defenders
1. FSU: Matthew Thomas, 10 total tackles
2. FSU: Ro’Derrick Hoskins, nine total tackles
3. UA: Shaun Dion Hamilton, eight total tackles (one sack, 3.5 tackles for loss)
Alabama (1-0) hosts Fresno State (1-0) on Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium. The game will kick off at 2:30 p.m. and air on ESPN2.