Posted: 9:11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013
By Casey Richey
Alabama was in control from the start. Winning the coin toss, holding Virginia Tech to a three-and-out to set up Christion Jones' 72-yard punt return for a touchdown. Jones would later return a kick off 94 yards for a touchdown.
Though the final score wouldn't reflect this, Alabama wasn't dominant by any means. Virginia Tech's defense was incredibly strong all night, forcing several tackles for loss and playing strong at the point of attack. A key mismatch with Kyshoen Jarrett out of the game with a short-lived injury lead to Jones' third touchdown of the game, sealing the game for the Crimson Tide.
The Hokies head back from Alabama with a lot of questions on offense and special teams, but the defense will be just fine.
Here's a quick recap of the game, in case you missed our quarterly updates.
Virginia Tech got the ball to start the game and a lackluster three-and-out forced a punt from AJ Hughes. Hughes booted a decent punt, but Jones returned it 72 yards for a touchdown, putting Alabama up 7-0 before AJ McCarron even took the field. The Hokies moved the ball for a first down on the next possession, but had to punt again. The defense's first outing ended with a solid tackle-for-loss by Jack Tyler on 3 and 1 to force an Alabama punt.
Alabama's T.J. Yeldon scored the first offensive touchdown of the game for Alabama from three yards out after a 5-minute 49 yard drive to put Alabama up with 1:48 to play in the first quarter. After the ensuing kickoff, Trey Edmunds took the ball 77 yards from scrimmage for a touchdown to cut the lead in half.
The Hokies had cut the Crimson Tide lead to 7 and forced a punt at the start of the second quarter. After a short rush by Edmunds, DJ Coles let up on a route and Vinnie Sunseri cut in front of him to intercept the ball and return it 38 yards for a touchdown to give Alabama a 21-7 lead.
With Alabama driving mid-way through the first quarter, Kyle Fuller intercepted AJ McCarron to set the Hokies up at the Alabama 32. After a few decent plays to gain some yardage, the drive sputtered before Cody Journell punched through a 39-yard field goal. On the ensuing kickoff, Jones returned the kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown.
Virginia Tech's defense was strong in the first half, holding Alabama to under 97 yards of total offense.
Virginia Tech and Alabama swapped strong defensive performances for the majority of the third quarter. Jarrett left the game with cramping issues and forcing Desmond Frye into relief in the secondary. Jones blew by Frye and hauled in a 38-yard pass from McCarron to put Alabama up 35-10.
The Hokies sputtered on offense and couldn't get much at all going throughout the game, sending the Crimson Tide back to Tuscaloosa with a 35-10 win.
13:21--Alabama--Christion Jones, 72 yds (punt return)
1:53--Alabama--T.J. Yeldon, 3 yds (run)
1:37--Virginia Tech--Trey Edmunds, 77 yds (run)
14:04--Alabama-- Logan Thomas pass intercepted by Vinnie Sunseri, 38 yds (interception)
3:39--Virginia Tech--Cody Journell, 39 yds (FG)
3:20--Alabama---Christion Jones, 94 yards (kick off return)
3:43--Alabama--Christion Jones, 38 yards (pass)
|Passing Leaders||Logan Thomas--5/26, 59 yds, 0/1 INT||AJ McCarron--7/14, 67 yds, 0/1 INT|
|Rushing Leaders||Trey Edmunds--20, 132 yds, TD||TJ Yeldon--17, 75, TD|
|3rd down conversion||3-17||6-17|