Florida State QB Francois out for season

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Getty Images

Alabama's defense came up big when it counted Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Terrell Lewis (24) and defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick (29) react after a stop against the Florida State Seminoles in the second quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley makes a catch.

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"I thought we played a great game tonight against a great opponent", Harris said.

"We'll get the diagnosis, and I love him, and we'll figure out what we've got to do from here". Fitzpatrick, who surrendered just one touchdown all of last season, was in excellent position to defend the play and closed quickly, ripping at the ball as Tate secured it, but, in this case, the bigger man won.

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The Alabama special teams forced a fumble on a kickoff as well as blocking a field goal and a punt, while converting on three field goal attempts in the decisive victory.

Facing third-and-10, Alabama's next drive was kept alive when Hurts found Ridley for 21 yards to move the UA offense to the Florida State 41-yard line.

Hurts completed 10 of 18 passes for 96 yards, and he rushed 15 times for 55 yards.

Less than a minute later, the Tide took back the ball again when Levi Wallace picked off Francois' pass at the FSU 42-yard line. "We have a tremendous amount of respect for Florida State's program".

Francois was injured when he was tackled from behind on a scramble by Alabama safety Ronnie Harrison.

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Anastasia Rodionova and Ukraine's Nadiia Kichenok also went out, 4-6 6-2 6-1 against Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina. The 30-year-old Russian couldn't convert a key break point at 4-3 in the second set, and the Latvian captured momentum.

It is the nature of the sport for the quarterbacks to get the majority of the attention, but for all the time the media spent on Francois and Alabama's fellow super sophomore quarterback Jalen Hurts prior to (and during) the game, it was the Tide's duo of versatile defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick and run-stuffing defensive tackle Da'Ron Payne who easily made the biggest splashes from an National Football League draft perspective.

If Fitzpatrick was Alabama's flashiest player Saturday night, the rugged Payne was its most consistent, shucking would-be blockers with an explosive initial punch and leaving Florida State's backs little room to run. The Seminoles responded by moving the ball 90 yards on 11 plays, capping off the drive with a three-yard touchdown pass to put FSU up 7-3 with 13:41 to go in the second quarter. The Seminoles, meanwhile, will host Louisiana-Monroe hoping that their young quarterback will be available. Hurts answered those doubters in the second quarter when he hit receiver Calvin Ridley in stride for a 53-yard touchdown pass.

The defense played lights out to hold them to two field goals and a touchdown on those plays.

Alabama will open its home schedule this Saturday against Fresno State.

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