Category Archives: Virginia Tech

Kickoff times coming up

ESPN GameDay

ESPN GameDay

Another TV time was revealed this week for the Alabama football team with the second game of the season with Texas A&M being the latest.

The Sept. 14 road game with the Aggies kicks off at 2:30 p.m. and will be broadcast by CBS.

The season opener in Atlanta vs. Virginia Tech was already announced with a 4:30 p.m. kickoff and will be carried by ESPN.

The other 10 game times will be announced closer to game day.

I love all these earlier in the day kickoffs. It’s a pleasure to have time to write about these games instead of scrambling to make the print deadline.

Fans of the previous team I covered, loved to argue over start times. Half wanted 7 p.m. kickoffs so they could do other things like go to youth soccer in the day. The other half wanted morning kickoffs to party later that night.

What is the Crimson Tide fan’s desire. Early, late or middle of the afternoon?

SEC teleconference notes

The highlights from Nick Saban’s SEC teleconference call:

  • Dont’a Hightower had successful knee surgery although Saban didn’t say when it was performance and which ligaments were involved.
  • A reporter from Gainesville asked about Saban’s strategy for pulling players late in blowout wins. Saban recognized the obvious connection between the question and Tim Tebow’s injury and said it wasn’t a bad move having the starting quarterback on the field in a 31-7 game in the third quarter. A touchdown and on-sides kick recovery has Kentucky right back in it.
  • “I don’t think of football as a dangerous game,” Saban said. Injuries happen in football just like they do in any other sport, he added, but the NCAA carefully looks at the rules that keep players safe.
  • The ugly “comparison” question was asked about the SEC West and last season’s Big 12 South. Saban hates that C-word. He didn’t make one, but reiterated his view on the SEC West’s depth.
  • Alabama plays neutral-site games like the Virginia Tech opener in Atlanta to prepare the team for road games. This Saturday’s game with Kentucky is Alabama’s first “true road game.”
  • When talking about the linebacker situation, Saban said Hightower’s versatility makes him especially difficult to replace. Because of that, more than one player will be needed to fill those jobs ranging from inside nickle linebacker to defensive end pass rusher.

Videos and photos from Atlanta

I know, it’s a little late, but here are a few videos I captured on my point and shoot camera from the press deck of the Georgia Dome on Saturday. The two videos were taken when the two teams entered the dome. That place was on fire at that moment. Enjoy.

Alabama goes second

Also check out a few new photos in the album.

Alabama football

(Deep breath) What a night

So the 2009 season got off to a quick and sometimes surprising start for Alabama. Know I’m left rubbing the sleep out of my eyes in an Atlanta hotel room. What a first night of the season.

The energy in the Atlanta Dome was electric. That place can really hold noise.

Looking back at the game, several beat writers agreed it was a strange one. Trying to write a running game story was feudal since the theme kept changing and the rhythm was helter skelter.

Know Alabama has a few weeks to refine its game before hitting SEC play. Oklahoma’s loss will move the Tide up to the No. 4 spot in the polls.

So what did you think of the game. Leave a comment and give your view.

Welcome to the Georgia Dome

Good afternoon and welcome to the temperature-controlled Georgia Dome here in Atlanta. We’re two hours from kickoff and the gates just opened to the public.

Here is the view from seat 163 in the press box. Check back later for more.

Lee Corso's headgear is…

… an elephant. The coach is going with Big Al, and the Tide to beat Virginia Tech tonight.

Normally, I would find this to be cheesy. But, for some reason, I love headgear time. It must be the wave Corso gives to the crowd afterward. Celebrity panelist Chipper Jones also went with Alabama.

On a side note, how lame is it for the GameDay sponsor to appear at the bottom of the fans’ signs in the crowd? I say very lame.

By the way, Nick Saban told an ESPN reporter that Brandon Deaderick could play tonight in a decision to be made just before kickoff.

Beamer names starting running back

Check out the story from the Associated Press about Virginia Tech’s decision on a starting running back.

Reader’s Digest version: Ryan Williams.

Here is the full story.

Saban: Bama has yet to hear from NCAA on Jones/Ingram, Deaderick out for Va. Tech

Speaking on the SEC teleconference just a few minutes ago, Alabama coach Nick Saban was asked about the eligibility of Julio Jones and Mark Ingram as it relates to the investigation of their spring fishing trip paid by Athens resident Curtis Anderson.

“That is up to the NCAA,” Saban said. “I don’t think it’s my decision to do anything. But we are hoping for a responses and we are hoping to do things the right way from a program’s standpoint and for the players’ best interest. I think the institution has handled the situation with tremendous professional integrity. We’re hopeful to have some resolution to the situation in the short-term.”

Later, he chose not to speculate on what kind of issues losing the two would create going into Saturday’s game with Virginia Tech.

“I’ve got enough problems with what-is,” Saban said. “So let’s focus on what is for right now.”

On the flu topic, Saban said he hopes to have starting linebacker Cory Reamer back in practice Wednesday after missing two with the flu.

UPDATE: I must have missed the very beginning of Saban’s turn on the teleconference. Several other outlets are reporting Saban said Brandon Deaderick won’t likely play Saturday against Virginia Tech. The coach will be addressing reporters again today following the 3:30 p.m. practice.

Check back later for more.

Good Wednesday morning update

It’s that time again to take a (semi) daily look at what is making news in the Alabama athletic universe

  • Before anything else, check out the Alabama coverage from today’s paper here and here.
  • To see which Alabama game is a “trap game” according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Tony Barnhart, click here.
  • If you don’t want to read about high expectations that could jinx the Crimson Tide, don’t click here.
  • The Sporting News recently did a Q&A with former Tide running back Shaun Alexander. If you’re interested in reading, click this link.
  • In the wake of the Darren Evans ACL tear, Virginia Tech will have to diversify its offense, so says ESPN. Read more here.

Don’t forget to vote on the poll now located on the right side of the page. And if you’re interested in following the Bama Blog, then click here to join the prestigious club.

Virginia Tech's top RB tears ACL, to miss season

I just came across the following story that will have quite an impact on Alabama’s first game of the season. Virginia Tech’s Darren Evans tore his ACL and will obviously miss that Sept. 5 opener in the Georgia Tech.

The All-ACC back gained more than 1,200 yards as a freshman in 2008.

Read more about this story here, here and here.

Good Friday morning update

It’s that time again to take a daily look at what is making news in the Alabama athletic universe.

  • Check out that countdown clock on the left-hand side of the page. There are fewer than 50 days until kickoff now.
  • There may be two fewer Alabama players making the trip to Atlanta for the opener with Virginia Tech. Brandon Faney is thinking about a transfer, the Tuscaloosa News is reporting. Should he follow through, the backup linebacker would join Chris Jackson who wants to transfer to an ACC school.
  • Alabama fans apparently can come from Tennessee too.
  • Stay tuned for a Q & A in tomorrow’s paper with Crimson Tide basketball coach Anthony Grant. I will try and steal a few minutes with the new coach today in Huntsville where he will be speaking at the All-Star Sports Week.
  • That event is where I was able to get a few minutes with Florida coach Urban Meyer along with a few other reporters. Check out the pub the Bama Blog is getting by clicking here.

Fewer than 100 days 'til kickoff!

If you’ve been following the countdown clock on the left-hand side of the page, you’ll see we’ve reached a milestone. We are now just 99 days from the 2009 football season-opener between Alabama and Virginia Tech.

It sounds better than 100 or 101 days to go, but there is still a lot of news to report and practices to be practiced before we all head to the Georgia Dome to celebrate the opening of yet another exciting year of college football.

But I thought you might like to know that day is one day closer than it was yesterday.