Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 9/4/13
(source: Getty images) Season openers are one of the most important games teams play each year. They show teams what they did well, what they need improvement on, and what they can learn from the first game of the season. Alabama played Virginia Tech in Atlanta for the 2013 season opener. Although the Tide won 35-10, the Tide showed they have a lot to work on during their bye week before they travel to College Station to play Texas A&M. What Alabama did well: Special Teams: Christion Jones did a superb job on special teams by securing the win for the Tide with a 72 yard punt return for a touchdown, as well as a kickoff return for 94 yards. Special teams also dominated with Cade Foster and Cody Mandell who both showed tremendous improvement in the kicking game for the Tide. Defensive Line- Alabama’s defensive line did a pretty good job in stopping many runs that the Hokies executed. Although there was a 77 yard run that the Tide’s defense let get by, all in all, their defense made the Hokies punt 13 out of 16 of their drives. What Alabama needs improvement on: Offense- AJ McCarron and the Crimson Tide offense need to dramatically improve before they play Texas A&M. Last season, the Alabama offense averaged 445.5 ypg and, on Saturday, they were only able to get 206 total yards against Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech did a great job on defense of stopping Alabama’s run game, and also getting past Alabama’s offensive line to rush AJ McCarron to throw out of bounds, incompletes, and an intentional grounder. The Alabama offense seemed to be lacking heart and passion as well as organization. Saban will have to focus on the offensive line as well as the running and passing game for the Tide Defense-The Crimson Tide is known for defense, but against the Hokies they looked tired, even at the beginning of the game. The safeties and corners for the Tide seemed to be getting constantly beat by Virginia Tech’s wide receivers which is a concern against A&M. Johnny Manziel and the Aggie offense are going to be throwing many deep passes against Bama, so it’s crucial that Nick Saban works to making the corners and safeties more of a threat on the defense. The entire Alabama football team needs to refocus and regroup. After Saturday’s win, Bama needs to start playing with more heart and passion. With a team that has won back to back national championships, Bama needs to play with the pride and passion they have shown in previous years. Nick Saban needs to make sure his team is mentally strong for the next game. Some teams get their wake up call too late in the season to help make any impact, but this season opener against Virginia Tech was the great wakeup call the Tide needed. It showed them that they still need to work 100% every game on both sides of the ball if they want their shot at winning their third straight National Championship. There is no doubt in my mind that Nick Saban will dramatically change both the physical strength and mental strength in his team for the Texas A&M game on September 14th.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Michael Irvin rips Texans for not trading for Tony Romo

Richard Sherman on trade talk: ‘I just laugh it off, man’

Grumpy writer complains about 'SI for Kids' reporter

Report: Archie Miller closing in on seven-year deal to coach Indiana

Alex Rodriguez said he 'made an ass of' himself denying PED allegations

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LaVar Ball finally got what he deserved

Adrian Peterson makes statement, says it is ‘not all about the money’

WATCH: Florida's Chiozza sends Wisconsin home on incredible buzzer-beater

LaVar Ball gets Crying Jordan, meme treatment after UCLA loss

Celtics upset Suns tried to pad Devin Booker’s stats

Five teams that may be interested in Blake Griffin this summer

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker