Francois, who started every game for Florida State last season, was one of the main reasons the Seminoles were ranked high to start the season. A two-point conversion from quarterback Jalen Hurts to Calvin Ridley gave Alabama a commanding 21-7 lead with 1:41 left in the third quarter.
With the impressive victory Alabama is certain to maintain its hold at the No. 1 ranking, and it hosts Fresno State next week.
The final score might have been the least of FSU's worries. Any chance at a miracle comeback by Florida State was erased when Francois appeared to suffer a serious injury to his right leg after a hard (but clean) hit from Alabama safety Ronnie Harrison in the fourth quarter.
Francois was later spotted on crutches with a brace on the knee. He was helped to his feet by trainers but couldn't put any weight on his left leg while leaving the field. He was carted off the field to FSU's locker room.
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That's 14 potential points exclusively off special teams.
With the Crimson Tide holding a 10-7 lead late in the third quarter, running back Damien Harris blocked a punt, and linebacker Dylan Moses recovered at the FSU 6.
Florida State's opening kickoff went deep into the end zone for a touchback, giving Alabama the ball to start at its own 25-yard line.
Francois was 19-for-32 for 210 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions against the tough Alabama defense.
It was the biggest difference in the game no question as the 'Noles offense played on played on par with Alabama. And Saban will find plenty of warts in their first game since then.
The Tide defense strengthened throughout the game, as Florida State managed 108 first-quarter yards but only 77 in the second quarter and just 48 in the third.
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After moving the ball into scoring territory on its first drive, Alabama's offense sputtered setting up a field goal attempt from walk-on kicker Andy Pappanastos.
"I saw him, and I hugged him and told him I'm sorry he's hurt", FSU coach Jimbo Fisher via the Orlando Sentinel. The Seminoles drove to Alabama's 34 on their first possession, but a fourth-and-2 keeper by Deondre Francois was stuffed for a 4-yard loss by Shaun Dion Hamilton. The victory extended the Crimson Tide's winning streak in season openers to 16 straight games.
Ohio State lost 35-21 to Virginia Tech in its second game in 2014 but recovered to win the inaugural CFP.
FSU will have some opportunities to impress the CFP selection committee against No. 18 Miami on September 16 and at No. 5 Clemson on November 11.
For now, though, the Seminoles have to worry about their quarterback's health.
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