The Build-up Begins: #1 Alabama vs #2 Florida State

The college football world has been anxiously waiting for a match-up of this caliber. Florida State vs Alabama; Jumbo Fisher vs Nick Saban; the pupil vs the master. This game will have so many headlines before it is played in September.

These two teams will come into that game with high expectations. Both offenses come in with known starters at quarterback. Alabama’s Jalen Hurts and Florida State’s Deondre Francois.

Left: Deondre Francois; Right: Jalen Hurts (USA TODAY)

Both quarterbacks did well in their first season as starters for their legendary program. Here is how the two quarterbacks measure up to each other:

Name: Jalen Hurts Deondre Francois
Height/ Weight: 6-2/ 209 lbs. 6-2/ 205 lbs.
City/State Channelview/ TX Orlando/ FL
Classification: Sophomore Sophomore
Wins/Loss 14/ 1 10/ 3
Passing Yards/ Completion Percentage 2780/ 62.8% 3350/ 58.8%
Touchdowns/ Interceptions 23/ 9 20/ 7
Ratio 139.1 142.1
Sack 19 34
Rushing Yards 954 198
Rushing Touchdowns 13 5


These two quarterbacks are used to playing in big games, and on September 2, 2017 I will expect both quarterbacks to come in well prepared to lead their respective teams to victory.

But there is more to this game than quarterback play.

Alabama’s 2016 offense ranked 7th overall and their defense ranked 2nd overall. Florida State’s 2016 offense ranked 27th and their defense ranked 26th.

Although, Alabama’s offense ranking was nice, that was last year. Alabama will have a new offensive coordinator, Brian Daboll, in 2017. Brian Daboll was previously with the super bowl champions, New England Patriot, coaching the tight ends.

Brian Daboll (

At Alabama’s A-Day spring game we got to see Daboll offense for the first time, and the offense looked explosive. Jalen Hurts moved the ball down field through the air and on the ground. The backup quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, played well too. Some fans around Alabama thought the Crimson Tide might have a quarterback competition between Hurts and Tagovailoa, but that obviously wasn’t going to happen.

The good thing that came from A-Day was that Alabama realized they have two quality quarterbacks. If Jalen Hurts goes down in a game, Tua Tagovailoa, could come in and handle the starting job.

Florida State returns everybody on their coaching staff from 2016. That is huge for Florida State going into the 2017 season and against Alabama week 1.

Florida State must replace their best offensive weapon from last year in Dalvin Cook. Dalvin was selected 9th in the second round (41st overall) in the 2017 NFL Draft. The guy who looks to be Dalvin’s replacement is incoming freshman, Cam Akers. Akers was impressive in Florida State’s spring game.

Cam Akers (Orlando Sentinel)

Akers managed to rush for 87-yards on the ground. He managed to get 102 all-purpose yards in the in his spring game debut. Florida State is hopeful the running game can continue to take pressure off Francois with Cam Akers taking over for Dalvin Cook.

Florida State must improve their pass protection which was horrible in 2016. Francois was sacked 34 times last season. That was way too much for a freshman to take in his first season as a starter.

I expect Jalen Hurts and Francois to put on a show in Atlanta.

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