TUSCALOOSA,AL.(WIAT)- Alabama is glad it’s game week as they are set to take on Virginia Tech on Saturday in Atlanta. Nick Saban stepped up to the podium on Monday morning to discuss depth chart, his team preparations and the challenge the Hokies will bring on Saturday. Above is the raw press conference from Nick Saban and then below are the game notes of Virginia Tech courtesy of the University of Alabama media relations department.
THE GAME: The University of Alabama football team opens the 2013 season on Saturday,
August 31, when it takes on Virginia Tech in the Georgia Dome at Atlanta, Ga. The Chick-Fil-A
Kickoff Classic will mark the 13th time the teams have met on the gridiron, with Alabama leading
the all-time series, 11-1. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN with kickoff set for 4:30
p.m. CT. Sean McDonough will serve as the play-by-play announcer, with Chris Spielman at his
side as the color analyst. The two will be joined by sideline reporter Shannon Spake. Eli Gold and
Phil Savage will handle the radio call on the Crimson Tide Sports Network, with Chris Stewart
serving as sideline reporter.
MAKING HISTORY: Alabama has laid claim to three of the last four BCS National
Championships and now boast 15 national championships in the program’s history. The Tide
won in 2009 and then went back-to-back in 2011 and 2012. The back-to-back titles are the first
in the BCS era and the first since Nebraska went back to back in 1994-95. The Cornhuskers are
also the last team to win three out of four national titles. Nebraska won consensus titles in 1994
and 1995 and shared the 1997 championship with Michigan. The last team to win three of four
consensus national championships was Notre Dame who captured the 1946, 1947 and 1949
championships. Minnesota is the last team to win three straight national championships (1934-
36) with only the 1936 title coming in the era of the Associated Press college football poll. The
Crimson Tide also won three titles in five years from 1961 to 1965.
PRESEASON RANKINGS: Alabama opens the 2013 season ranked first in the Associated Press
and USA TODAY Coaches’ preseason polls, while Virginia Tech comes in receiving votes in both.
VIRGINIA TECH: The Hokies are coming off a 7-6 2012 season and a Russell Athletic Bowl
victory in overtime against Rutgers. Under 27th-year head coach Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech is
216-104-2, with four BCS bowl appearances in the last six seasons. The Hokies have the sixth
most wins in the country since 2001. Virginia Tech enters the 2013 season returning 15 starters
and 50 letterwinnners.
SERIES HISTORY: Alabama holds a commanding 11-1 edge in the all-time series with Virginia
Tech. The two teams last met in a familiar situation as they opened the 2009 season in the
Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic in Atlanta. In that contest, the fifth-ranked Crimson Tide downed
the seventh-ranked Hokies, 34-24. Alabama won the first 10 games in the series that began with a
9-6 Tide win in 1932. Alabama then posted shutouts over Tech in 1933 (27-0) and 1952 (33-0).
Alabama and Virginia Tech met six times from 1968 to 1979 with two games in Birmingham, one
in Blacksburg and four in Tuscaloosa. The largest margin of victory for the Crimson Tide came in
1973 when UA posted a 77-6 win in Tuscaloosa. Several of the Tide’s all-time single-game records
that were set that day still stand, including 833 total yards, 11.9 yards per play, 748 rushing yards
and 11.9 yards per rush.
NEXT GAME: Alabama will have a bye before opening Southeastern Conference play on the
road at Texas A&M. The two top-10 teams will meet on Saturday, Sept. 14, at College Station.
Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. CT on CBS.