Florida State was just a 37-yard field goal away from heading into the half tied, however Alabama had different plans.
With the half coming to a close, Deondre Francois, who had 161 yards yards on 14-22 passing in the first half, led the ’Noles to a 37-yard field goal attempt. The kick was low and blocked and the teams would head into the half with ‘Bama up 10-7.
The first drive of the game for Alabama came up empty after a 42-yard field goal attempt went wide right. Ermon Lane single handedly kept Alabama off the scoreboard on that first drive with a one-on-one tackle on ‘Bama running back Bo Scarborough.
After an FSU drive that resulted in a turnover on downs, Alabama was first on the board after a 35-yard Alabama field goal. After a big 20-yard rush by Jalen Hurts to get to the FSU 18, the defense stepped up and didn’t give up another yard on the drive.
It was a quarter of hits and misses for the Florida State defense. It had allowed three big plays for 20+ yards but not much besides that, allowing 16 total yards in the 13 other plays that opening quarter.
Florida State did find its way into the end zone first after a 6’5 Auden Tate leaped in the corner of the end zone with an Alabama defender all over him. Just like that, FSU took a 7-3 lead. Tate had 41 receiving yards on two catches in the first half.
The lead was short lived as Alabama would answer five plays later after a 53-yard touchdown pass.
In the second quarter, Florida State and Alabama traded five consecutive drives that went less than five plays and resulted in five punts.