The Crimson White

2017 football schedule

Cody Estremera

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For Alabama fans the year started with a disappointing last second loss to Clemson for the national championship. Now they start the new season with hope of redemption and the hope for the 17th national championship.

Alabama kicks off its season against Florida State on Sept. 4 in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Florida State finished at No. 8 in the AP poll, with a 10-3 record. The Seminoles capped off its 2016 season with a 33-32 win over Michigan in the Orange Bowl. Its quarterback, Deondre Francois, returns for his sophomore season. He racked up 3,350 passing yards and 20 touchdowns. However, the top receiver, Travis Rudolph, and the leading rusher, Dalvin Cook, both left for the NFL draft, leaving some question marks on who the explosive players will be.  

The first home game of the year is against Fresno State. The Bulldogs finished just 1-11 last year. The only win, Sacramento State. Colorado State follows the Bulldog matchup. The Rams finished 7-6 last year, following a loss to Idaho in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Over its last six games, the Rams averaged 47.8 points per game.  

The Crimson Tide head on the road to take on Vanderbilt in week four, for its first SEC matchup. The Commodores finished 6-7 last year, and for the first time under current coach Derek Mason, the team reached a bowl game. It returns most of its starters from last year, including running back Ralph Webb, who finished with 1,283 rushing yards, and quarterback Kyle Shurmur, who threw for 2,409 yards. The biggest loss for Vandy, is linebacker Zach Cunningham, who led the team in tackles with 125. 

Ole Miss visits Alabama in week five, and for the first time since 2012 Hugh Freeze will not be the coach. Alabama is just 1-2 the last three years these two teams have matched up. The Rebels lost its leading rusher Akeem Judd, quarterback Chad “Swag” Kelly and receiver Evan Engram. Last year, both teams lit up the scoreboard for a combined 91 points.  

In week six, Alabama travels to College Station to take on Texas A&M, and Kevin Sumlin. Sumlin is one of two SEC coaches to defeat Alabama in the last five years. The Aggies finished 8-5 last year including a 4-4 conference record. Trayveon Williams led the team in rushing his freshman year with 1,057 yards, which is a Texas A&M freshman record. The biggest mystery facing the Aggies is who is going to be their starting quarterback. Trevor Knight was the starter for most of the season before being injured during the Mississippi State game. Jake Hubenak is the leading passer from last year. He threw for 844 yards and six touchdowns.

Then, Alabama begins a three-game home stand starting with Arkansas. The Razorbacks have finished with a winning record for the last three years. Austin Allen returns for his senior season as the signal caller. He threw for 3,430 passing yards, which led the SEC, including 400 yards against Alabama last year. Center Frank Ragnow was put on the Rimington Trophy candidate during the preseason. The Rimington is the trophy given to the best center in the country.  

Two of Alabama’s biggest rivals visit Alabama next, starting with Tennessee. The Volunteers have underperformed expectations the last couple of years, finishing second in the SEC east for the last twice. Joshua Dobbs graduated and moved on to the NFL, while Derek Barnett, who set the career sacks record, left early to the NFL. Quinten Dormady is the only other quarterback who saw action last year for the Volunteers. He finished with 148 passing yards on 11 completions. Alabama has not lost to Tennessee since 2007.  

Derrius Guice leads LSU to Tuscaloosa. Guice led the SEC in rushing last season with 1,387 yards. He replaces the No. 4 pick in the draft Leonard Fournette. Alabama defeated LSU 10-0 last year. Jalen Hurts scored the only touchdown, on a 21-yard touchdown run. The last time Alabama lost to LSU was in 2011. 

Alabama travels to Mississippi State in week 10. Nick Fitzgerald led the Bulldogs to a 6-7 record, including a win in the St. Petersburg Bowl. He ran for 1,375 yards and 16 touchdowns, while passing for 2,423 yards and 21 touchdowns. Donald Gray returns for his senior season. He finished with 709 yards and five touchdowns.  

The Crimson Tide finishes the season at Auburn. The last time Auburn defeated Alabama was in 2013, off the kick-six. The Tigers bring back its dual running back tandem of Kerryon Johnson and Kamryn Pettway. The two finished with a combined 2,119 rushing yards. Pettway finished with 1,224 and seven touchdowns, while Johnson finished with 895 yards and 11 touchdowns. One of, if not the best kicker in the game returns for Auburn, in Daniel Carlson. Carlson was the SEC Special Teams Player of the Year and led the SEC in scoring with 10.3 points per game.      

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2017 football schedule