TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama center Ryan Kelly said the postgame mood in the locker room was subdued and players were upset with their performance in the season opener.
Never mind that the top-ranked Crimson Tide beat Virginia Tech 35-10 Saturday night. It wasn't pristine or dominant enough, especially on offense, to satisfy the two-time defending national champions.
"Obviously we're 1-0 but we knew as a team afterward that we didn't make them quit," he said Tuesday night. "We felt like they walked away with a better sense that they didn't let Alabama take control of them. I think that's what everybody was disappointed about. We should have played a lot better."
The offense did sputter at times during the game, when two touchdowns came on special teams and one on an interception return. The Tide likely won't be able to afford such uneven offensive play in next week's grudge match against Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel and No. 7 Texas A&M in College Station.
Alabama has an extra week to prepare to face the only team to beat the Tide last season.
The circumstances are decidedly different from last season, when Alabama was fresh from a down-to-the-wire win over LSU with a week to prepare for Manziel and the Aggies' fast-paced offense.
Texas A&M jumped ahead 20-0 after the first quarter en route to a 29-24 victory.
Coach Nick Saban said the Tide won't start working on Texas A&M until Thursday's practice, giving them two extra days "which is usually the most we do on a team."
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