Bama Has Good Sack Attack

One big reason Nick Saban hired Sal Sunseri as outside linebacker coach was to improve the Tide's pass rush. Saturday night, in it's 34-24 comeback win over Virginia Tech, that was evident as Bama brought down Hokies quarterback Tyrod Taylor five times for losses totaling 38 yards.

"You have to create six seconds of hell each play," said Alabama Coach Nick Saban. "We did that tonight."

"That team on the other side; they're pretty darn good," said Tech Coach Frank Beamer of the No. 5 Tide. "You can't turn the ball over like we did. Alabama is way too good to give them points and field position like we did tonight."

"We've got to learn from our mistakes," said Bama linebacker Rolando McClain, who chased Taylor all night and caught him twice. "They are a good team. They are going to make plays, and you can't take that away from them. We're going to watch film, and fix those communication mistakes that we made tonight,"

One thing that seemed to fire the Tide up was the return to the field of defensive end Brandon Deaderick, who went from a shooting victim hospitalized at DCH to on the field playing versus Tech in just five days.

Nose tackle Terrence Cody said, "We all do what we do together. That meant a lot for the d-line. He's a real good player. It meant a lot to have him in there.

"Deaderick is a big part of our defense. He's our brother. He is a real competitor. The way he looked in practice, we couldn't tell anything was wrong."

Deaderick was credited with one tackle, but it was evident his presence meant something. He played the game with a heavily-bandaged left arm.

A strong fourth quarter powered the Tide to victory, and the Bama defense limited the Hokies to just 155 total yards.

Cody said the halftime message from Saban was simple.

"We had big plays and big penalties (including two on one play against McClain). At the end, he just said we had to settle down and play Alabama football the way we're supposed to play. In the second half, we made adjustments," Cody said. "We settled down, got together, and made plays. It took that first half for us to get settled down."

Cody was officially credited with one tackle, but disrupted several other plays as he usually does.

Said linebacker Dont'a Hightower, "We gave a lot of energy from the first quarter to the fourth quarter. That's one of the things about or team this year. We just want to finish. We're happy we got the game, but we only get 24 hours to celebrate. Then it's time to move on, and get ready for the next game."

Hightower was a thorn in the Hokies' side all night, and finished with six tackles, one for a loss. The Tide's leading tacklers on the night were Jack linebacker Eryk Anders with eight (two for a loss), safety Justin Woodall with seven, Hightower, and McClain, who made five stops.

There were big plays on special teams, too, like the second half play where Alabama's "other No. 8," Chris Rogers, forced and recovered a fumble on a kickoff. Bama got a field goal and 10-point lead off that play.

In the first half, snapper Brian Selman was able to center the ball to punter P.J. Fitzgerald, and race down field to down the ball inside the 10.

"The fumble was just being in the right place at the right time. That's every snapper's dream," said Selman. "The ball bounced my way, and I was able to make a play on it. He muffed it, and I was able to hop on it. I don't' know who all was on top of me. There was a lot of weight in there, and I was just holding on for dear life."

The muff by red shirt freshman Ryan Williams caused him to make a decision. "I took myself out on return duty," he said. "I just wasn't feeling comfortable, and I didn't want to put myself in a position where I would hurt the team."

Williams didn't' hurt his team offensively. He was Hokies' leading rusher, with 71 yards on 13 totes. He added 42 more on two receptions in his first career start.

"I was down a lot after the fumble, but (defensive end) Jason Worilds came up to me and said, ‘Do you want to be good or do you want to be great?' I decided I wanted to be great and had to start making some plays."

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