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After worst season in 20, Virginia Tech seeks elite status in duel with No. 1 Alabama

Quarterback Logan Thomas and his teammates at Virginia Tech love being underdogs.

Coming off their worst season in two decades, even though they finished 7-6 and went to their 20th consecutive bowl game, the Hokies have never been counted out more than in their season-opener than this year against top-ranked, two-time defending national champion Alabama on Saturday.

The Crimson Tide as 19½-point favorites.

Thomas says talk that the Tide will roll takes some of the pressure off, but that doesn't mean he or any of his teammates are conceding anything.

Linebacker Jack Tyler says the team has been talking about this game, and the perceived lack of respect, for months.

He expects the Hokies to play like "a dog that's ready to pounce and to win a game."