Ok, it’s game day…time to put up or shut up. I know this is a little late coming, but here’s what I think they keys to tonight’s game will be:
Alabama will win the game if:
- Julio Jones and Javier Arenas run wild. The Hokie defensive secondary must do their best to contain Jones, and Kam Chancellor will probably shadow him quite a bit. If Jones goes crazy or Arenas breaks some big kick returns, the Hokies will be in trouble.
- The defense rattles Tyrod early. If he’s going to show he improved, he’s got to do it early, so if ‘Bama can force an early turnover or a bunch of three-an-outs, they’ll have a big advantage. That’s a very realistic possibility.
- They pass protect. Jason Worilds and Cordarrow Thompson will have a big day if the Tide offensive line cannot deal with their pass rush. Worilds is an elite talent and will have a big day if he rattles new starter Greg McElroy early.
Virginia Tech will win the game if:
- Tyrod Taylor can use his legs and arm to free up the run for the Williams/Wilson/Oglesby trio. If the passing game is nonexistent, the Hokies have no prayer of trying to run on Alabama. Their defensive talent is too good to allow any yards up the middle if the Hokies can’t pass.
- They can make a big defensive/special teams play and capitalize. Field position will be huge in this one, and a block or turnover could make the difference. A short field is our offense’s best friend. We’re perfectly capable of making that happen.
- Kam Chancellor has a monster game. He needs to have another Orange Bowl-type performance (at least) for the Hokies to try and keep the Tide passing attack grounded.
I think that this one could get out of hand early, but probably won’t unless Tyrod and the offense hand the ball over to ‘Bama in their own territory. Alabama has the talent to run away with it as well, but I’m just not convinced that Beamer will be outcoached and outclassed by Saban. Playing in an SEC stadium (with SEC refs, might I add) is intimidating and difficult, but will not decide the game). Everyone seems to be afraid of Alabama, their tradition, their championships and their fans, but I’m not. I might be roasted on here in 12 hours, but I just cannot, and will not pick against the Hokies in this one. My over/under is at 25 for this game. The lower the overall score, the more it favors the boys in Chicago Maroon.
Crimson Tide 9
ROLL THE TIDE