With fireworks on the scoreboard expected, both teams flipped the script as defense ruled the first two quarters for the most part, with the Buckeyes heading into their Halftime locker room with a 3-0 lead in Columbus.
Sean Nuernberger kicked a 24-yard field goal early in the second quarter to capitalize on the second fumble recovered by the Buckeyes in the half, while, on the ensuing possession and thanks in large part to a shaky snap, Austin Seibert pushed his 37-yard attempt that would’ve tied the game wide to the right.
The Crimson Tide kicked off the year at home in Tuscaloosa in a fashion that was oh so familiar to many of their fans, running right over the Bulldogs all day long for a 41-10 victory that wasn’t as close as that score line indicated.
There were hard hits, critical third down stops, a turnover and several sacks as both teams flew around the ball in Death Valley, with the Tigers from the ACC edging out their SEC brethren 7-6 at halftime in a contest was filled with tension throughout.
Signal-caller Kelly Bryant didn’t seem nervous at all in his first major test replacing Deshaun Watson — 11/16 for 104 yards, plus the game’s only TD off a keeper — but was knocked out briefly on a hard hit late in the second quarter before returning for the Tigers’ final drive.
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