The Seminoles (3-2, 0-2 ACC) are coming off of a heartbreaking loss to North Carolina, which nailed a 54-yard field goal as time expired to earn a 37-35 win and snap FSU’s 22-game home winning streak. The ‘Noles trailed 21-0 in the second quarter but rallied to take a 35-34 lead in the final minute on a 8-yard touchdown run by Deondre Francois. But a pass interference penalty on Tarvarus McFadden helped the Tar Heels’ field-position cause and set up the winning score.
Meanwhile, the Hurricanes (4-0, 1-0) used fumble returns for touchdowns by Shaquille Quarterman and Joe Jackson in a span of less than a minute in the second quarter to help them beat Georgia Tech, 35-21, on Saturday. Head coach Mark Richt improved to 14-0 against Georgia Tech in Atlanta, including an 8-0 record at Georgia and 5-0 as an assistant at Florida State.
In last year’s meeting, Dalvin Cook ran for 222 yards and three touchdowns to help the ‘Noles beat Miami, 29-24, which was their sixth in a row against the Hurricanes. It is FSU’s longest winning streak in the series since winning seven straight from 1963-72.
All offseason, this has been the four-game stretch circled for No. 1 Alabama as the treacherous portion of a road back to the College Football Playoff for the defending champion Crimson Tide.
Saturday begins a five-week stretch in which undefeated Alabama plays at Arkansas, at Tennessee, hosts Texas A&M, and plays at LSU after the bye week.
The Crimson Tide (5-0, 2-0) starts things off with a trip to Arkansas for a date with the 16th-ranked Razorbacks (4-1, 0-1) at 7 p.m. ET Saturday at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville (ESPN).
Alabama has owned this rivalry during coach Nick Saban's tenure, but it hasn't always been easy in the games played in Fayetteville.
Though the Tide coasted past the Razorbacks 52-0 in 2012, the 2010 game was decided by only four points, 24-20, and two years ago it came down to just one point with the Tide escaping 14-13.
This year the Razorbacks look to be one of the few teams that can compete with Alabama physically.