No team has come out of the gates in better form that Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide the last five seasons. Since the 2008 Chick-fil-a Kick-Off classic with Clemson, the Tide has had a strong showing in its openers, which have included games with Clemson, Michigan and (now) Virginia Tech twice.
When scheduled three years ago, this game looked to be another marquee matchup. Since then the Hokies haven’t held up their end of the bargain in terms of talent, success or achievement.
The tricky thing to watch is, in the event Georgia goes 2-0 against #8 Clemson and #6 South Carolina in weeks 1 & 2, and with Bama playing an unranked Virginia Tech and off the 2nd week, the “five yards short” cries from 2012 will be heard loud and clear and the #5 Bulldogs would have a case to unseat the Tide from its top perch prior to the game in College Station.
None of this ultimately matters. Championships aren’t won in September, and they most certainly aren’t won in Athens. But it’s an interesting point of discussion.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban indicated yesterday that behind Alabama running back TJ Yeldon you’ll likely find Dee Hart and Jalston Fowler playing a duel role between H-Back and running back. Though we’ll likely see some freshman backs as well.
“I think they’re [the freshmen running backs] are all good,” Saban said at his Monday presser. “Kamara got injured. He missed a while. He will practice today. Tyren Jones did a good job in the last scrimmage. But really, Altee [Tenpenny] and Derrick Henry have gotten the most reps and they’re most prepared to be ready to play. We have confidence in both of those guys that they can go in and play well if they need to.”
From an injury standpoint, only reserves Tana Patrick (linebacker) and Wilson Love (offensive line) are slowed for the game in Atlanta, where the Tide plans on dressing “somewhere around 85” for the trip.
Kick-off with the Hokies is scheduled for 5:30pm CDT televised on ESPN.