The Alabama Crimson Tide and the Virginia Tech Hokies players and fans amass in the GA Dome on the same date as the first day of Dragon Con. Downtown Atlanta must’ve been one frothy cauldron of red, maroon/plum, and all the other colors of ROY G BIV. How lovely the Dome looked from an aerial view (provided by the Metlife blimp).
Televised by ABC, commentary was supplied by Kirk Herbstreit and Brent Musburger. The Crimson Tide scored first and second with two field goals (thanks to kicker Leigh Tiffin). Alabama 6 and Virginia Tech 0. The Hokies would give the Crimson a shocker with ninety-eight yard kickoff return for a TD by wide receiver Dyrell Roberts (he ran with such momentum that after he reached the end zone, he tumbled into a padded, triangular object of sponsorship promotion). Virginia Tech 7 and Alabama 6. The Crimson Tide got a luck-ball-change when Hokies tailback Ryan Williams let the ball slip out of his reach during a kickoff-return attempt. Tiffin went out for another field goal after his teammates couldn’t get the ball in the end zone. Alabama 9 and Virginia Tech 7.
Five minutes into the second quarter Hokies defensive end Jason Worilds intercepted Crimson Tide quarterback Greg McElroy. Tries for the end zone were unsuccessful. Hokies kicker Matt Waldron then sent a twenty-eight yarder through the uprights. Virginia Tech 10 and Alabama 9. As the clock whittled down to three minutes, Crimson Tide running back Roy Upchurch got his upper body across the goal line. Alabama 16 and Virginia Tech 10. By the time there was just a minute left in the second quarter, the Hokies managed to scoot their bottoms down to the red zone and Ryan Williams, who had dropped a not-properly-gripped ball in the first quarter, planted his body into the end zone. Going into halftime, Virginia Tech 17 and Alabama 16 (Tiffin would not make a thirty-six yard field goal with seconds left on the clock).
The third quarter bleeped all the way to five minutes before anything eye-popping happened. Roy Upchurch was on the run and was bumped from behind by Hokies linebacker Cody Grimm. The ball tumbled out of Upchurch’s hands and Virginia Tech recovered it. No points resulted from the turnover.
The fourth quarter reached a high point just three minutes in when Crimson Tide running back Mark Ingram made a TD (and then subsequently did a little celebrating in the end zone, but not excessively). The two-point conversion was good–tight end Colin Peek caught McElory’s pass in the back of the end zone. The Hokies barely had a turn on offense when the Tide caused and took control of a fumbled ball. A field goal came out of that snatch-up. Alabama 27 and Virginia Tech 17. Ryan Williams gave his Hokies fans something to smile with his dash to break the plane. A booth review had confirmed that he had crossed the goal line. Alabama 27 and Virginia Tech 24. Mark Ingram straightened out that smile ever so concretely when he made a TD a few minutes later. Alabama 34 and Virginia Tech 24. Final score.
Observations & Miscellania:
1. Crimson Tide wore white jerseys; the Hokies wore maroon.
2. Why is Alabama’s mascot an elephant? If the reason were more arbitrary, I’d like to see the Crimson Tide represented by a barge or a a periscope or trout.
3. Alabama defensive end Brandon Deaderick was wounded in a robbery attempt a week ago. So, how was he able to suit up in today’s game? In the first quarter, the Herbstreit and Musburger explained that the bullet entered Deaderick’s left arm, exited, and then went into a hip (and out again). The bullet didn’t touch any bones or blood vessels. Medical opinion apparently didn’t object after Deaderick was treated.
4. The second quarter of the UGA @ OSU game felt exceptionally long. The entire first half of tonight’s game seems interminable.
5. Immediately after the Colin Peek two-point conversion in the fourth quarter, the camera cut to a medium close-up of three Hokies fans. Two young men in the middle of the frame and another in the foreground, slight left side of the screen. This redhead male was visibly upset as he bent his upper body forward thrice (almost thrashing). It looked like he was assaulting the chair below him with a white towel or shirt.
6. According to Brent Musburger, 74, 954 (?) people were at the GA Dome for this game. A venue record. The Dome’s web site indicates a seating capacity of 71, 250.
7. Do commentators really have to plug “in-house” network shows? Can’t it be enough for there to be on-screen graphics of such shows?
8. Where did the fourth quarter surge in energy and ferocity start? I mean I know when it began, but from what stockpile did the umph emanate?
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