2009 Alabama Game Analysis: Hokies not Sharp Enough to Beat Tide

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It was a tough game with a disappointing finish and there are a lot of things
that need to be improved, but there were also some positives to take away as
well. It is easy to look at the lack of offensive production and conclude that
another frustrating year is ahead. It is also easy to look at all the missed
tackles and big plays given up by the defense and wonder if expectations are too
high on that side of the ball.

Admittedly, I had some of those concerns leaving the Georgia Dome on Saturday
night. But after powering through the replay several times, I feel better about
the potential of this team and what lies ahead for the rest of the season.

After getting outgained 498 to 155 in total yardage, how could I possibly
feel better after watching that kind of domination over and over? Let’s take a
deeper look.

Alabama is a good … no, great team

On the surface, what we saw on Saturday night was Virginia Tech matched up
against a better opponent. Overall, they had more talent, more experience and
more depth. For the first game of the season, they played consistently and
executed what they wanted to do very well. The key factor for them was that
their new players along the offensive line and at QB made plays and did not make
a lot of critical mistakes.

Defensively, they are about as good as it gets. They are big, fast and they
make very few mistakes – they certainly didn’t make very many on Saturday
night. Offensively, they have two big-time playmakers in RB Mark Ingram and WR
Julio Jones. And although inexperienced, QB Greg McElroy clearly has enough
ability to manage that offense well and get the ball to those key playmakers for
big plays.

So, Alabama gets a lot of credit for how that game turned out. The Hokies don’t
have quite the same level of talent and they were too young and inexperienced at
some key positions, which is a huge factor the first game of the season. But the
one thing the Hokies did against Alabama that Clemson could not do last year was
to match Alabama’s physical