Unusual TDs Make For Odd Tidbits
The last time Alabama started a game with a non-offensive touchdown was when Mark Barron returned an interception 77 yards in a 20-6 win against No. 22 South Carolina on Oct. 17, 2009.
Alabama recorded three non-offensive touchdowns in a game for the first time since it did so against Georgia on Sept. 30, 1995. Christion Jones got the Tide on the board first with a 72-yard punt return for a touchdown and then went 94 yards on a kickoff return in the second quarter.
Vinnie Sunseri scored the first touchdown of his career with a 38-yard interception return. In the 1995 matchup with the Georgia Bulldogs, Kevin Jackson had a 26-yard interception return, Deshea Townsend blocked a field goal that led to a 90-yard return, and Cedric Samuel recorded a 23-yard fumble return.
Christion Jones recorded his first punt return for a touchdown, going 72 yards for the score, with 13:21 to go in the first quarter. It was the first punt return for a touchdown by a Tide player since Marquis Maze went 83 yards against Arkansas on Sept. 24, 2011.
According to the Alabama record books dating back to 1944, Christion Jones is the first player to score two returns/non-offensive touchdowns in one game. Jones had a 72-yard punt return in the first quarter and a 94-yard kickoff return in the second quarter. Jones added a 38-yard reception for a touchdown in the third quarter.
Christion Jones is the first player in the FBS to have both a punt return for a touchdown and a kickoff return for a touchdown since 2006.
Alabama has scored in 157 consecutive games – the longest streak in program history.
Alabama opened the season ranked number one in the Associated Press poll and in the Coaches Poll conducted by USA Today. This is the sixth consecutive season the Crimson Tide has been ranked number one at some point in the season – including at the conclusion of the 2009, 2011, and 2012 seasons.
Alabama is now 74-46-4 in neutral site games. (That includes games between Alabama and Auburn at Legion Field in Birmingham from 1948-88.) The Tide's winning percentage in neutral site games is .613. Last year Bama played three neutral site games – opening the season in Arlington, Texas, against Michigan with a 41-14 win, downing Georgia in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta by 32-28, and defeating Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship Game in Miami by 42-14.
Alabama returns to the Georgia Dome in Atlanta to open the 2015 season against West Virginia.
With the win, Alabama extended its streak of wins away from Bryant-Denny Stadium to 15. The 15-game streak includes both true road games and neutral-site games.
Alabama is now 15-5-1 (73.8 per cent) in domed stadiums, including a 7-0 mark since 2009 and a 7-2 record under Coach Nick Saban.
Bama has compiled a 204-127-4 (61.5 per cent) record in televised games. Under Saban, Alabama now has appeared in 53 nationally televised games in its last 70 opportunities.
Under Saban, the Tide is now 7-0 in season-opening games. This Bama's second season-opening victory over Virginia Tech (previously, 34-24 in 2009).
Alabama now has a 12-1 record against the Hokies.
Tailback Kenyan Drake, who had been listed far down the depth chart this year after being third behind Eddie Lacey and T.J. Yeldon last season, did not dress for the game.
Alabama had six players make their first starts including offensive linemen Arie Kouandjio, Ryan Kelly and Austin Shepherd, defensive lineman Jeoffrey Pagan, defensive back Jarrick Williams and long snapper, Cole Mazza, who is also a true freshman.
Honorary captain for the Crimson Tide was Julio Jones, now starring at wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons.
Captains for Alabama were quarterback A.J. McCarron, linebacker C.J. Mosley, and offensive lineman Anthony Steen.
Attendance was sold-out crowd of 73,114.
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