Alabama vs. Va. Tech

Two top 10 teams collide at the Georgia Dome to highlight the opening weekend of college football when No. 5 Alabama faces No. 7 Virginia Tech Saturday night at 8PM ET.

The Crimson Tide have dominated this series, winning 10 of the 11 matchups, but the Hokies won the previous meeting, all the way back in the 1998 Music City Bowl. Saturday’s game will be a crucial game for both teams if they hope to reach the BCS National Championship.

Bet Virginia Tech vs. Alabama

Alabama dominated Clemson, 34-10, in last year’s season opener in Atlanta, and the Crimson Tide are hoping for similar results on Saturday. Nick Saban led Alabama to a 12-2 record in his second season as coach of the Crimson Tide last season, and this year, Saban has to replace seven starters on offense. Greg McElroy will get the call at quarterback for the Tide. McElroy is a junior who will make his first career start on Saturday. McElroy will have Julio Jones to target in the passing game. Jones caught 58 passes for 924 yards in his freshman year last season. Alabama will rely heavily on its defense in the game, as the Tide return eight starters from a unit that ranked seventh in the nation in scoring at 14.3 points allowed per-game. Alabama’s defense is led by two All-Americans in defensive tackle Terrence Cody and linebacker Rolando McClain. McClain led Alabama in tackles last season with 95 and also had nine tackles for loss and eight pass deflections.

The Hokies are dealing with some losses on offense as well, as tailback Darren Evans, who rushed for 1,265 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2008, tore his ACL during practice and will miss the 2009 season. Redshirt freshman Ryan Williams will replace Evans in the backfield. The Hokies do bring back quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who threw for just 1,036 yards and two touchdowns last season, but did rush for 738 yards and seven touchdowns. The Hokies bring back seven starters from a defense that limited opponents to 16.7 points per-game in 2008. Despite bringing the starters back, only one had All-ACC honors. Defensive end Jason Worilds is back after racking up 62 tackles, eight sacks, and 10.5 tackles for loss in 2008.

Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made Alabama 6.5-point favorites over Virginia Tech on Saturday night. The over/under total for this game has been established at 38.

Betting Trends
All games in this series since 1992

VIRGINIA TECH is 1-0 against the spread versus ALABAMA since 1992

VIRGINIA TECH is 1-0 straight up against ALABAMA since 1992

1 of 1 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL since 1992
Key Player Injuries
VIRGINIA TECH

No significant injuries.

ALABAMA

No significant injuries.

College Football Week 1: Virginia Tech vs. Alabama Odds & Over/Under Totals:

Virginia Tech Hokies +6.5 Over 38 (+210)

Alabama Crimson Tide -6.5 Under 38 (-270)

Bet Virginia Tech vs. Alabama

Posted: 9/5/09 3:30PM ET

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