Alabama Football: The six keys to the Tide beating FSU

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 09: Quarterback Jalen Hurts
TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 09: Quarterback Jalen Hurts /
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Alabama football quarterback, Jalen Hurts
TAMPA, FL – JANUARY 09: Quarterback Jalen Hurts (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Tide Offensive Line and Pass Protection

FSU players Josh Sweat and Brian Burns can defend the run but the duo excels at pass rushing. The right side of the Alabama football line will be attacked by FSU.

When FSU loads the box to stop the run, Jalen Hurts must make the Noles pay by throwing the ball downfield. For him to do so, he must have time to sort through progressions.

Minkah Fitzpatrick is a very fine football player. Minkah might be better than Derwin James BUT the FSU secondary is very good. Tavares McFadden made eight interceptions in 2016. FSU can cover and Jalen will need time to survey the field. Jalen will also need time to set his feet and step into his throws.

FSU will be missing one of its experienced secondary players in the first half. Trey Marshall was ejected for targeting in the Noles’ bowl win. He must sit out the first half against Alabama football. The Noles will also depend on a new cornerback opposite McFadden.

Tide will need Red Zone Success

The stingy FSU defense will become even stiffer closer to the goal line. In fall camp, Saban has been concerned about the 2017 Tide’s red zone proficiency.

Having to settle for a field goal is not always a bad outcome. Especially if a team has experienced place-kickers with a track record for accuracy. Alabama football will open the 2017 season with neither experience or documented accuracy from its field goal kickers.