ALABAMA 37, FLORIDA STATE 37
September 23, 1967 - Legion Field - Birmingham
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- In one of the more entertaining season openers in school history, Alabama and Florida State combined for 74 points as the two teams battled to a 37-37 tie at Legion Field. The game marked just the third opening day tie in Alabama history. The Crimson Tide also tied Howard (7-7) in 1935 and LSU (27-27) in 1944. The 74 points scored marked the third-highest point total on opening day in school history. The Crimson Tide beat Marion 110-0 in 1922 and beat Delta State 89-0 in 1951 for the two highest scoring season openers in school history. What made the 1967 season opener so unbelievable was the fact that Alabama allowed only 37 points in its 10 regular season games in 1966.
Despite an opening-day loss to Houston, Florida State had a game under its belt when it headed to Birmingham to take on the Crimson Tide. The Seminoles racked up 407 yards of offense, including 287 passing yards. Quarterback Kim Hammond completed 23 of 40 passes for 280 yards and three touchdowns. All-American flanker Ron Sellers caught 13 passes for 165 yards and one touchdown as he caused trouble for the UA defense all night.
"I doubt if anyone played well on defense,” Coach Paul Bryant said after the game. “That Sellers is a fine receiver but we did not have anybody near him most of the night. If (Alabama’s Dennis) Homan was let loose like we did Sellers, he would catch a jillon (passes).”
Florida State scored the first two times it touched the football to take a 14-0 lead and shock the 71,299 fans at Legion Field on a cool autumn evening. Following an Alabama fumble, FSU needed six plays to cover the 38 yards and take an early lead. Grant Guthrie’s extra point made it 7-0 with 11:03 left in the first quarter. FSU forced a three-and-out after the touchdown and Walt Summer fielded Steve Davis’ punt at the FSU 25-yard line and used his speed to cover 75 yards to the end zone for a 14-0 lead with 9:05 left in the first quarter.
Alabama punted again, but recovered an FSU fumble at the Seminoles’ 14-yard line and the shootout was on. Alabama quickly answered, scoring on its next two possessions to take a 15-14 lead.
Ken Stabler capped a 5-play, 14-yard drive with a 2-yard run. FSU was called for holding on the extra point attempt and Bryant took the point off the board and opted to go for two. Ed Morgan ran in the conversion to make it 14-8. Following an FSU punt, Alabama covered 63 yards in four plays capped by Stabler’s 51-yard pass to Dennis Homan. Davis’ extra point gave the Tide a one-point lead after the first quarter. Stabler completed 11 of 20 passes for 192 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. He ran 11 times for minus 2-yards and scored one touchdown and added a two-point conversion.
FSU took a 24-22 lead at halftime during a see-saw second quarter. Guthrie’s 27-yard field goal gave the Seminoles a 17-15 lead. Alabama came back with an 11-yard touchdown run by Morgan to take a 22-17 lead. FSU grabbed the lead before halftime when Hammond threw a 13-yard pass to Larry Green. Guthrie’s 38-yard field goal accounted for the only points in the third quarter as FSU extended its lead to 27-22.
Alabama took the lead twice in the fourth quarter only to see FSU tie the game each time as the team’s scored on four straight possessions. Stabler’s 12-yard pass to Dennis Homan gave the Tide the lead early in the fourth quarter. Stabler’s run for two points made the score 30-27. FSU answered on its next possession with Guthrie’s 23-yard field goal to tie the game at 30-30. The Crimson Tide answered with a quick touchdown drive to take a 37-30 lead. Stabler completed a 51-yard pass to Homan to set up the go-ahead score. Morgan capped the 5-play, 73-yard drive with a two-yard run. Homan had six catches for 159 yards and two touchdowns for the Crimson Tide. Morgan added 22 rushing attempts for 97 yards and two touchdowns.
FSU marched 65 yards in 11 plays to tie the game in the final minutes. Hammond’s three-yard pass to Bill Moreman on third-and-goal tied the game at 37-37. Alabama had good field position following the kickoff and a personal foul penalty, but Stabler was intercepted at the FSU 34-yard line giving the Noles one last shot as Bobby Johns intercepted a pass deep in Tide territory as time expired to preserve the deadlock.
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Ron Sellers 11-yard pass from Kim Hammond (Grant Guthrie PAT) FSU 7, ALA 0
Walt Sumner 75-yard punt return (Guthrie PAT) FSU 14, ALA 0
Ken Stabler 2-yard run (Ed Morgan run) FSU 14, ALA 8
Dennis Homan 51-yard pass from Stabler (Steve Davis PAT) ALA 15, FSU 14
Guthrie 27-yard field goal FSU 17, ALA 15
Morgan 11-yard run (Davis PAT) ALA 22, FSU 17
Larry Green 13-yard pass from Hammond (Guthrie PAT) FSU 24, ALA 22
Guthrie 38-yard field goal FSU 27, ALA 22
Homan 12-yard pass from Stabler (Stabler run) ALA 30, FSU 27
Guthrie 23-yard field goal FSU 30, ALA 30
Morgan 3-yard run (Davis PAT) ALA 37, FSU 30
Billy Moreman 8-yard pass from Hammond (Guthrie PAT) ALA 37, FSU 37