Alabama 34, Virginia Tech 24
Virginia Tech's heart, effort, not enough (Annette)
"It was an entertaining game that could have gone either way, but Alabama eventually found more answers on offense. We knew heading into this season that if Virginia Tech wanted to keep its spot among the elite programs in the national rankings, it would have to do the same."
Looking at the Loss (Kyle Tucker)
"Like you surely are, Hokies, I am exhausted. Not too much I can say about this one until tomorrow, when I can wrap my mind around all the many, many things that happened in a crazy game. Virginia Tech led the No. 5 team in the country in the fourth quarter ... and then the defense absolutely collapsed. Why wouldn’t they? They were on the field for a staggering 79 plays and 15 minutes longer than Alabama’s defense."
Alabama Wears Out Virginia Tech (Darryl Slater)
"Sixty-one percent of the game. That’s how long Alabama held the ball in tonight’s 34-24 win over Virginia Tech here in Atlanta, where the Crimson Tide ran 79 plays for 498 yards. Two fumbles. That’s how many turnovers the Hokies committed on special teams, usually their strength. The turnovers led to Alabama field goals of 34 and 20 yards. Neither of those stats made Tech look like a national-championship contender."
Some late-night thoughts on Tech’s loss to Alabama (Randy King)
"Curt Newsome's bunch couldn't move punch any holes between the tackles, plus allowed the five sacks. A holding call on reserve Greg Nosal nullified a Tech first down on its opening drive of the fourth quarter and the Hokies were forced to punt. UA got the ball on its own 46, and after a 48-yard completion from Greg McElroy to Marquis Maze, the Tide's hard-running tailback, Mark Ingram, scored on a 6-yard TD run to erase a 17-16 Tech lead and put 'Bama ahead for good."
Hokies failing to take the next step (Aaron McFarling)
"The Hokies certainly don't deserve a flogging this morning. They didn't melt down or embarrass themselves or quit. They just lost, proving once again that there is a line they've yet to cross -- the one between the strong programs and the dominant."
Wanted: one workhorse back in Blacksburg (Norm Wood)
"Still, even Williams didn’t have the right stuff to bail Tech out in the fourth quarter. I’m guessing you probably know who might’ve had that special "it" factor: Darren Evans. Tech desperately needed a running back that could grind out some clock when it entered the fourth quarter holding a 17-16 lead."
'Bama adds a few big-play notes to dominant blueprint (Dr. Saturday)
"Virginia Tech was held to 154 yards on a paltry three yards per snap and only had one scoring drive all night (a 51-yard drive in the second quarter) that didn't start in Alabama territory following a turnover or come on a kickoff return. The Hokies punted eight times, turned it over twice more and did nothing to discredit the Tide defense as one of the best half-dozen outfits in the country."
Virginia Tech Postgame Thoughts (Roll 'Bama Roll)
"Credit goes to the VT coaching staff on so many things, but in particular the way they handled Julio Jones. They bracketed him high and low almost all night long, and it got the job done. That's the only way you'll stop him, and they got the job done. They couldn't hang on to get the victory, but they didn't let our best player beat them."