SEC Football Report: Alabama Dominates Opener

SEC Football Report: Alabama Dominates Opener

Welcome to the CBS Local SEC Football Report. Every Tuesday, this space will recap the results and top performances from the Southeastern Conference and look ahead to key match-ups the following week.

Alabama: Still good

In at least one very noticeable aspect, the college football season has started the same way it did last year—with No. 1 Alabama throttling a ranked opponent. In the first-ever season-opening game between a top-ranked team and a team ranked as high as No. 3, Alabama was dominant and dangerous against Florida State, winning 24-7. While the Tide offense was nothing special, the defense was exceptional and the special teams play even better—Bama blocked a punt and a field goal and recovered a fumble on a kickoff return.

All told, it is not hard to imagine Alabama returning to Atlanta for the national championship in January. Florida State will have a hard time rebounding given the season-ending knee injury sustained by quarterback Deondre Francois on a sack.

Gators and Aggies slip, Vols survive

There were mixed results in the SEC’s other high-profile matchups. What looked like an impressive road victory all fell apart for Texas A&M in Los Angeles Sunday night. It took two improbable touchdown passes, but UCLA overcame a 44-10 deficit with 4:08 left in the third quarter to win 45-44. It was the biggest comeback in an FBS game since 2006. Most all of it came after A&M starting quarterback Nick Starkel broke his ankle. Freshman Kellen Mond completed just 3 of 17 passes in his place, and the Aggies allowed four fourth-quarter touchdown throws. One slipped through a defender’s hands; another was a desperate heave. And yet A&M fans will cut head coach Kevin Sumlin little slack. Starkel, meanwhile, may miss the rest of the…