Alabama Football: The six keys to the Tide beating FSU

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 09: Quarterback Jalen Hurts
TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 09: Quarterback Jalen Hurts /
5 of 5
Alabama football celebration
ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 03: Minkah Fitzpatrick  (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) /

No Secondary Breakdowns against FSU

Can Francois burn the Tide given time to locate an opener receiver? He certainly can. Is the Tide vulnerable with the inexperienced Trevon Diggs? FSU will certainly try to take advantage of Diggs. Alabama football has a sophisticated system of pass coverages. The old line about Saban is he always leaves his corners ‘on an island.’

Against FSU, Averett will be expected to shut down an FSU receiver without help. Diggs may be handled differently.

FSU lost its top three receivers from 2016. The Noles have plenty of talent to fill the holes but how polished they are is unknown. Jimbo will try to isolate Diggs. Saban and Pruitt can counter by giving Trevon some help over the top.

If Pruitt can get quarterback pressure with four and an occasional fifth Tide defender, Diggs should not get too exposed.

The FSU secondary is very good. The Alabama football secondary may be just as good. Both teams will field an inexperienced cornerback. Both teams have a very good corner and a great safety. Add Tony Brown and Ronnie Harrison to the Tide mix and the Tide’s pass coverage may be better than FSU. And there is always the possibility that Minkah plays corner against FSU.

Unless FSU has rebuilt its offensive line from last season, Francois will not get lengthy time in the pocket. Alabama football has such speed at linebacker, we predict when an extra defender is dedicated to Francois, it should be effective.

Next: Ten FSU Players Tide fans need to know

The season opener is a big game for both teams but it is not a championship deal breaker. The winner will have a leg up on a CFB Playoff berth. Though it will be tougher, the loser will not be eliminated from Playoff contention.