Football to Open 2014 Season Against West Virginia on Saturday

Aug. 25, 2014

THE GAME: The University of Alabama football team opens the 2014 season on Saturday, August 30, when it takes on West Virginia in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game will mark the first time the teams have met on the gridiron. The game will be televised nationally on ABC/ESPN2 with kickoff set for 2:36 p.m. CDT. Dave Pasch will serve as the play-by-play announcer, with Brian Griese at his side as the color analyst. The two will be joined by sideline reporter Tom Luginbill. Eli Gold and Phil Savage will handle the radio call on the Crimson Tide Sports Network, with Chris Stewart serving as sideline reporter. ESPN Radio will also have the national broadcast of the game with Marc Kestecher (PBP), Trevor Matich (analyst) and Ian Fitzsimmons (sideline).

MAKING HISTORY: Alabama has laid claim to three of the last five BCS National Championships and boasts 15 national championships in the program's history. The Tide captured the BCS Title in 2009 and then won back-to-back championships in 2011 and 2012. The back-to-back titles were the first in the BCS era and the first since Nebraska went back to back in 1994-95. The Cornhuskers are also the last team to win three out of four national titles. Nebraska won consensus titles in 1994 and 1995 and shared the 1997 championship with Michigan. The last team to win three of four consensus national championships was Notre Dame who captured the 1946, 1947 and 1949 championships. The Crimson Tide also won three titles in five years from 1961 to 1965.

PRESEASON RANKINGS: Alabama opens the 2014 season ranked second in the Associated Press and USA TODAY Coaches' preseason polls, while West Virginia is not ranked.

WEST VIRGINIA: The Mountaineers are coming off a 4-8 record in the 2013 season, including a 2-7 mark in the Big 12 Conference. West Virginia is under the direction of fourth-year head coach Dana Holgorsen. The Mountaineers are 21-17 in Holgorsen's tenure, including an Orange Bowl victory. West Virginia enters the 2014 season returning 19 starters and 48 letterwinnners.

SERIES HISTORY: Alabama and West Virginia are meeting on the football field for the first time in the storied histories of the two programs. Alabama is 13-17-2 in games against teams from the current Big 12 Conference.

NEXT GAME: Alabama will open its home slate against Florida Atlantic on Sept. 6, on the SEC Network. The Crimson Tide and Owls are meeting for the second time in three years after Alabama posted a 40-7 victory in Tuscaloosa in 2012. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. (CDT) on the SEC Network.