Bama enters opener with high expectations - WVTM-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Birmingham, AL

Bama enters opener with high expectations

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BIRMINGHAM, AL -

New year, same expectations for the Crimson Tide.

Either it's another BCS National Title or it will likely be looked at as a failed season.

When you look at the all-time series between Alabama and Virginia Tech, there's a lot for Bama fans to smile about.

The Tide won the first ten meetings between the two schools. Alabama is 11-1 all-time against the Hokies.

Bama head coach Nick Saban talked about the importance of strong defensive play on Monday when he met with reporters, especially when it comes to slowing down Hokies quarterback Logan Thomas. Saban says the best way to explain the Tide's defensive strategy is to have a mentality from a different sport.

"When you play defense, you're a little bit like a baseball pitcher, Saban said. "You've got to pitch. You can't throw a fastball every time. Sometimes you've got to disguise the pressure. Sometimes you've got to disguise the pressure and come out and cover. Sometimes you've got to play man-to-man. Sometimes you've got to play zone. But I think all of those things are critical factors."

This is Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer's 27th season with the Hokies. He has 216 career victories at Virginia Tech. That's good enough for eighth all-time for FBS coaching victories at one school. A familiar name is in seventh place, right ahead of Beamer: Bear Bryant. Beamer is 16 victories behind Bryant's 232 at Alabama.

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