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It's not impossible, but the Hokies will need a miracle to upset Alabama on Saturday. On paper this looks like a David vs Goliath matchup, but David defeated Goliath. Who's to say that Virginia Tech can't do the same. Tech will need to do a lot of things right in order to even have a chance to pull off an upset. Alabama is clearly the favorites but have the Hokies been taken for granted and been slept on.
1. Tech Must Win the Turnover Battle
In order to beat the Tide, Tech must win the turnover battle. The Hokies absolutely cannot turnover the ball often. Logan can't try to force balls and make mistakes similar to last season. The young backs also cannot put the ball on the ground and commit turnovers themselves. Not only does the offense need to take care of the football, but the defense needs to force a few turnovers of its own. The offense is going to struggle, that's a given, so the defense will need to give them as many opportunities as they can by making some much needed big plays.
2. Try to Contain the Run
It will be nearly impossible to stop Bama's running game but the Hokies need to at least contain it. They cannot allow the Tide to bust one big play after another, because if the this happens the safeties will creep up in the box and next thing you know its play action over the top. If the defense can limit the big plays and control the run this will increase the Hokies chances of having a shot to win the game.
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3. Establish Our Ground Game
Last year Tech was awful in the running game; when your quarterback leads the team in rushing you know there is a problem. Against a team that has such a great defense like Alabama you cannot afford to become one dimensional. The Hokies have to establish the running game to make things easier for Thomas in the passing game. Tech has always been at its' best when it has a powerful running game. Without a successful running game, beating Alabama is just not going to happen.
4. The Resurrection of "Beamerball"
"Beamerball" for the past several years had died, been locked in a coffin, and buried 6 feet under. It is about time for it to resurrect and come back to life. Special teams can be a huge x-factor in a football game. With a great punt or return the field can be reversed. The momentum can also drastically change by a blocked kick and momentum in college football can be a big thing. Since Alabama is the more talented team from top to bottom something like "Beamerball" can level the playing field. God rose Lazarus from the dead, can Beamer do the same for "Beamerball"?
5. Time of Possession
Time of possession could be crucial if the Hokies can control it. The longer Alabama's offense is off the field the better it is for Tech. Not only does our defense get some much needed rest over the course of the game, but also this would allow the offense more opportunities to put points on the board. We all know that our offense needs as many of those as they can. The offense is going to have to limit the three and outs to help our defense from getting winded as the game progresses. Over the years we have witnessed our defenses dominate a game in the first half only to see the game blow completely wide open in the second half because they are on the field way too much. History cannot repeat itself the offense needs to do there part too. Time of possession is definitely critical for a successful upset.
For the Hokies to pull off the upset it will take an almost perfect game and it's unlikely this will happen but that doesn't mean it's impossible. The Hokies will just need to bring their "A" game and have some things fall their way. We have all seen our fair share of underdog teams defying all odds and pulling off the unthinkable. The question is can Virginia Tech add their name to that list (of underdog upsets) yet again? I just don't want this to turn out as another shoulda, woulda, coulda game; where; because of a few plays the Hokies come up short. Pulling off this upset could be a huge first step at returning back to true Hokie football that made Tech the program what it is today.
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