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The Hokies, a potential top five team to start the year, look to contend for a national championship.
This game should be a great defensive battle that won't yield many points.
Alabama's defense gave up only 14 points per game, while the Hokies gave up only 16 points per game in 2008. Both teams will be tested this day.
Alabama will have to be at their best to stop a Virginia Tech rushing attack that scored 23 touchdowns last year.
To combat this rushing attack, Alabama will rely on Terrence Cody, Brandon Deadrick and Lorenzo Washington to allow the linebackers to focus on keeping Tyrod Taylor a passing quarterback.
Last season, Taylor only passed for 1,037 yards and two touchdowns. Alabama only gave up 74 yards rushing a game last season, and returns nine starters from that team.
I give the advantage to the Tide defense to be able to stop the Tech offense. The Tide offense will have to gel on the offensive line if they want to have any chance at moving the ball against the equally stingy defense.
The Tide has the size advantage against the Hokie defensive line, but Virginia Tech has the more experience playing as a unit. Seeing as how this is the first game of the year, that could be a big advantage for the Hokies.
Alabama's wide receivers, on the other hand, will have a physical type of play that the Hokies defensive backs won't be able to handle.
That, and the fact that the Alabama offensive play calling will be balanced enough to keep the Hokie defense guessing, is reason enough for me to believe that the Crimson Tide will walk away with a narrow victory on Sept. 5.