JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Xavier Lee came off the bench to throw a pair of touchdown passes to De'Cody Fagg, and Antone Smith scored on a 5-yard run as Florida State defeated No. 22 Alabama 21-14 Saturday.
Florida State (3-1) gave Bobby Bowden, who grew up in Birmingham, Ala., and always figured he was destined to follow Bear Bryant in Tuscaloosa, his 369th coaching win in his first game against Alabama.
Lee, who entered the game in the second quarter, hit Fagg with a 7-yard pass for the game's first touchdown on the first opening drive of the second half. The two then teamed up on a 70-yard TD pass with 4:46 left in the game to give the Seminoles a 21-7 lead.
Alabama (3-2) cut the lead to 14-7 with 5:04 left on DJ Hall's leaping grab in the back of the end zone on a pass from John Parker Wilson.
Wilson added a 17-yard scoring pass to Keith Brown with 1:06 left.
Wilson completed 28 of 53 passes for 240 yards with Hall catching seven for 83 yards. Alabama's leading rusher, Terry Grant, was held to just 36 of the team's 89 rushing yards.
Lee completed 12 of 19 passes for 224 yards after making his first appearance of the year and ran for a game-high 59 yards in what began as a defensive struggle for both teams. He replaced Drew Weatherford, who couldn't produce any first quarter points despite having good field position and a brisk wind at its back.
Alabama had 78 total yards and three first downs in a scoreless first half, while Florida State was only marginally better with five first downs and 89 total yards.
It was Florida State's first victory in four tries against Alabama in the first meeting between the schools since 1974, when Alabama won 8-7 by scoring a safety and field goal in the final 1:27.
The 85,412 fans at Saturday's game was the most to see a game in Jacksonville, exceeding attendance at the 2004 Super Bowl game or any of the annual Georgia-Florida rivalry games.