Aug 31, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Landon Collins (26) reacts after a play against the Virginia Tech Hokies in the fourth quarter of the 2013 Chick-fil-a Kickoff game at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama opens title defense with 35-10 win over Virginia Tech


The Alabama Crimson Tide opened their quest for a third consecutive title with a 35-10 drubbing over the Virginia Tech, and frankly, it didn’t seem that close.

Virginia Tech scored a touchdown to conclude the first quarter with a manageable 14-7 margin, but when the second quarter opened, so did the floodgates. Safety Vinnie Sunseri intercepted a Logan Thomas pass early in the 2nd quarter and took it to the house for a touchdown, and that was followed by a kick-off return touchdown from Christion Jones that gave Alabama a 28-10 halftime lead.

Speaking of Jones, the junior wide receiver accounted for a staggering three long touchdowns on the day, and became the first Alabama player in history to return two kick-offs for touchdowns in one game. His heroics bailed out an otherwise pedestrian offensive effort, however, as AJ McCarron finished just 10-for-24 passing, and the Tide rushed for less than 100 yards as a team.

Fortunately for Nick Saban and company, their defense was up to the challenge, and they clamped down hard on Logan Thomas and the Hokies. Thomas put up a mind-boggling 5-for-26 stat line through the air, and Virginia Tech managed just 206 yards of total offense despite trailing throughout the game. It was, by far, the worst showing of Thomas’s career, and the Tide have a unique way of producing that kind of result.

It wasn’t the flawless effort that some may have expected, but Alabama could have won this game by 35+ points with a little bit of late effort. As it was, they leave Atlanta with a 25-point win along with an undisputed #1 ranking, and Nick Saban will surely be happy with that.

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Tags: AJ McCarron Alabama Crimson Tide Logan Thomas Virginia Tech Hokies