Two of the most legendary programs in college football, who have become…not as legendary, face off in Jacksonville this afternoon.
We’ll just start with this picture of Bobby Bowden. No rhyme or reason, it just creeps me out a bit.
5:04 pm: The Alabama offense is off to a bad start, going three and out and nearly throwing an interception. The ensuing punt is absolutely shanked, and FSU will start at midfield.
5:06 pm: Preston Parker makes a nice catch, but he runs his way out of a first down. 3rd and short.
5:07 pm: Antoine Smith gets the ball on third and short, and he gets the first.
5:08 pm: D’Vontre Richardson comes in for a down, but his play goes nowhere. Seriously, what has Xavier Lee done to fall to FSU’s #3 option?
5:10 pm: FSU punting from inside the 40? brawwwwwwk-brawk bawk bawk bawk.
UPSET ALERT: Colorado upsets #4 Oklahoma, 27-24.
5:11 pm: CBS needs to get rid of the K-State Power Towel music.
5:14 pm: I don’t care what the state of the Seminole football team is, I still get chills when Florida State plays the tomahawk chop on 3rd down. “WHY COULDN’T YOU JUST THROW IT AWAY RONALD CURRY?!? WHAT WERE YOU THINKING THROWING INTO DOUBLE COVERAGE?!?” Sorry, flashbacks. Bama goes 3-and-out again.
5:26 pm: Right now we have two injuries, one for each team. Florida State’s Marcus Sims has an ankle injury and will likely not return. Meanwhile, Alabama tight end Travis McCall may have suffered a head injury after delivering a block. He fell down during the play, and hasn’t gotten up.
5:30 pm: McCall was able to leave the field under his own power. Very good news.
Meanwhile, Wilson’s pass on third down sails over everyone’s head, and Bama goes 3-and-out again. The Announcers repeatedly mentioned the wind as a big factor, and it;s pretty apparent in Bama’s punts.
5:33 pm: Carr gets the reception, but he’s short of the first down at the 28 yard line.
5:34 pm: Gary Cismesia, who already has the body of Sebastian Janikowski, misses the 45-yard FG despite having 20 mph wind on his side. Still scoreless, and the first quarter is winding down.
5:37 pm: Bama gets the ball again. Guess what happens? If you said 3-and-out, bad punt and good field position for Florida State, then you are correct!
5:39 pm: Drew Weatherford has done a good job of completing the short passes, but he has yet to go deep with the wind to his back.
5:42 pm: Preston Parker takes the snap on 3rd and 1, and he gets the first down. Suddenly, the Noles are back in business.
5:45 pm: The first quarter comes to a close, and the game is still scoreless. Let’s see how their respective offenses change when they switch sides of the field and wind direction.
5:48 pm: FSU can’t convert on 3rd and short, but the Seminoles decide to go for it on 4th and 1.
5:49 pm: Uh-oh. FSU calls a second timeout on their 4th down play. Either Bobby Bowden must be going insane on the bench, or he’s defying the logic of timeout use. They had a long, long time between quarters to decide what to do.
5:51 pm: Antoine Smith gets the first down, but not by much.
Both offensive have been uber-conservative so far.
5:53 pm: Weatherford throws a floter up for grabs, and Antoine Smith gets sent flying by Rashad Johnson, breaking up a potential catch.
5:55 pm: Now that the wind is against him, it looks like Weatherford can’t hit anything. FSU has to punt.
5:59 pm: Terry Grant gets a huge game on the swing pass, but he drives his head into the ground. He looks like he’s hurting badly.
6:02 pm: Grant, like McCall, was able to walk off under his own power.
6:04 pm: Wilson can’t do anything after the big gain by Grant, and Bama is forced to punt yet again. Even with the wind, their punter still can’t get decent yardage on his kicks.
This game is looking to be pretty ugly.
6:07 pm: Xavier Lee finally comes in at quarterback for the Seminoles.
6:09 pm: Aside from the QB draws (which Lee is good at), FSU’s offense doesn’t look much different with the quarterback change.
6:13 pm: Xavier Lee passes to De’Cody Fagg, who takes the ball for a huge gain…but it’s called back for only 6 men on the line. After a broken play on third down the Nokes are forced to punt again.
6:17 pm: Finally, the Tide get a first down beyond the 20 yard line. Wilson zips a pass right up the middle.
6:19 pm: Alabama manages to fumble twice (first a bad snap, then a fumble by Grant). They recover, but face yet another 4th down.
6:22 pm: Florida State nearly gets Bama’s punt blocked, but Fitzgerald manages to boot it 60 yards to the FSU 6.
6:24 pm: Another drive, another 3-and-out. This game has been really, really ugly. Someone, anyone, please score.
6:26 pm: After a delay of game and an average punt, Bama now has great field position and all 3 timeouts with about 3 minutes left. Not that they’ll do anything with it.
6:28 pm: Once again, Bama can’t do anything with the ball, and they to punt inside the 40.
6:34 pm: The first mercifully comes to an end. Alabama and Florida State are still scoreless, 0-0. Neither team has played aggressive at all. If I had to pick for one of these teams to score first, I would say Alabama, simply because they’re stable at the QB position. But it’s really frustrating to watch this kind of game; I can hardly imagine how hard it is on the coaches. About the most exciting part of this game so far has been the picture at the top of this post.
6:59 pm: Finally, a real offensive play from the Seminoles. After Lee throws for a first down, he hits Greg Carr on a comeback route on the ourside, and Carr makes a one guy miss, turning it upfield and eventually getting 28 yards. FSU is now in business.
7:01 pm: For this first time this entire game, a team finds itself in the red zone.
7:03 pm: STOP THE PRESSES! IT’S A MIRACLE! SOMEONE FINALLY SCORES A TOUCHDOWN! Xavier Lee throws the ball in the endzone to a wide open De’Cody Fagg for a touchdown. Florida State leads 7-0, and the offense is finally starting to look good with Lee at the helm.
7:08 pm: Alabama gets the ball at the 20. Terry Grant finds a big gap up the middle and gets the first down.
7:10 pm: Bama can;t do anything with the ball, and they have to punt again. No drive for the Tide has been longer than 6 plays.
7:13 pm: What a pass by Xavier Lee, He gets hit as he throws, but he still makes a pass forty yards downfield to a streaking Greg Carr, who takes the ball 58 yards to the 30 yard line.
7:15 pm: INTERCEPTION! Just when it looked like Lee was getting in a rhythm, he throws the ball to late to a wide open tight end, and a Bammer manages to run into the line of fire and get the pick.
7:21 pm: John Parker-Wilson runs a draw on 3rd and short. It looks like he got the first down, but Bowden is challenging the ruling. The call stands, and it costs Bobby a timeout.
7:25 pm: Wilson fires the pass, DJ Hall with the catch and spin move, and he gets big yardage after the catch. Finally, Alabama seems to be clicking on offense.
7:28 pm: Ouch. Just when it looked like Bama was in field goal range, Preston Dial moves before the snap and takes his team outside the 30 on 3rd down, and then Wilson gets sacked at the 39. Now the Tide will have to punt. I would hate to be Dial on the sidelines right now.
7:32 pm: Xavier Lee trips and falls during a run that would have surely been a first down. But Lee fires a nice pass on third down up the middle of the field to continue the drive.
7:34 pm: That was fast. The third quarter is already over, and Florida State has a 7-0 lead. The Seminoles certainly have the momentum right now, but Bama is one big play away from tying this game.
7:37 pm: Great. More power towel.
7:39 pm: FSU can;t do anything with the ball, and they punt to start the fourth quarter.
7:42 pm: John Parker-Wilson and DJ Hall are very lucky that the Noles didn’t pick that off.
7:43 pm: Keith Brown drops the pass to bring up fourth down, but D. J. Hall didn’t even try to run a route on that play. Alabama will punt yet again, and Tide fans cannot be happy with what they’ve seen tonight.
7:48 pm: Lee takes another QB draw, and this time he fights his way to a big gain and a first down.
7:49 pm: Lee runs out of the pocket and gives FSU another first down. the Seminoles have gotten over 200 yards of offense since Lee entered the game.
7:52 pm: The Crimson Tide brings the blitz right up the middle on 3rd down, sending Lee backpedaling before tossing a float pass up for grabs. Fagg catches it, but it;s short of the first down and Florida State has to punt.
7:57 pm: FUMBLE! John Parker Wilson tries to find someone on the left side, but Florida State sacks him, strips the ball, the the Seminoles have the ball at the Alabama 4.
7:58 pm: TOUCHDOWN! On the very next play, Antoine Smith runs to the right side, and he easily gets into the endzone. Florida State leads 14-0, and they’ve all but sealed up this game.
8:05 pm: Alabama is actually driving the ball right now. Four consecutive first downs for the Tide.
8:06 pm: Make that five! D. J. Hall makes a great catch, and suddenly Alabama is inside the FSU 25.
8:08 pm: Alabama is now down to the 15 yard line. 6:45 left in the fourth quarter.
8:10 pm: Wow…Alabama had 1st a goal, and suddenly the offense was unable to do anything. They face fourth down, and they have to score to stay in this game.
8:11 pm: TOUCHDOWN! What a play by D. J. Hall! Parker seem to overthrow, but Hall makes a huge leap to get the ball, and he manages to get both of his feet in bounds. Alabama now only trails 14-7 with 5 minutes left and all of their timeouts.
8:16 pm: TOUCHDOWN! A huge play for Florida State. Lee throws to De’Cody Fagg in single coverage, but them the ‘Bama cornerback misses the tackle, and Fagg outruns the entire defense 70 yards for the score. Florida State leads 21-7, and now they’ve officially put this game away.
8:24 pm: How does Tony Carter not catch that interception? It’s now fourth down, and Bama is down to their last chance.
8:25 pm: Wow…Brown nearly catches that ball for a touchdown, but Wilson throws it too high, the play is broken up by the FSU secondary, and the Seminoles take over on downs.
8:37 pm: TOUCHDOWN! Alabama drive down the field, and they cap it off with a pass down the middle to Keith Brown for the touchdown. But he gets lit up at the goalline, and he was out cold for about 10-20 seconds before finally coming to. He manages to walk to the sidelines, and Alabama trails 21-14 with 1:06 left. They have to go for the onside kick.
8:39 pm: ALABAMA RECOVERS THE ONSIDE KICK! …oR at least they appear to. But the referees say it was touched before the 10-yard mark. Looking at the replay, it hit a Bammer…on the helmet. A bad strike of luck for the Tide, but Florida State will win it.
8:43 pm: That’s your ballgame. Florida State wins, 21-14. Xavier Lee has earned the starting QB spot, and Nick Saban may suddenly be in hot water after this game.