NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A sellout crowd of 41,600 who braved a freezing rain and wind chill that dipped to 14 degrees watched as Virginia Tech beat Alabama, 38-7, in the inaugural American General Music City Bowl in Nashville.
The win was Tech's first ever football victory against Alabama, snapping a 10-game losing streak against the Crimson Tide. The winning margin was the largest ever in a bowl game for the Hokies, while the losing margin was the second-worst in a bowl game for the Tide.
Quarterback Al Clark got Tech off to a quick start with a 43-yard touchdown run on the fourth play of the game. But for the rest of the first half, the Hokies failed to take advantage of opportunities. A 44-yard Shayne Graham field goal near the end of the second quarter enabled Tech to take a 10-7 lead at halftime.
Things changed dramatically for the Hokies in the second half as they began to make the most of every opportunity, thanks in large part to the play of defensive end Corey Moore.
Moore forced Alabama quarterback Andrew Zow to throw an interception to Tech linebacker Phillip Summers early in the third quarter. That led to a 1-yard touchdown run by Lamont Pegues, which gave the Hokies a 17-7 lead. Moore then blocked an Alabama punt to set up another Tech rushing touchdown - this time a 4-yard burst by Shyrone Stith.
Tech polished things off in the fourth quarter. The Hokies recovered a fumbled punt at the Alabama 19 and marched in for another TD by Pegues. Tech defensive back Anthony Midget put the finishing touches on with a 27-yard interception return for a touchdown.