Alabama defeated Charleston Southern in the final game of the year at Bryant-Denny Stadium by 56-6 Saturday with Cyrus Jones returning two punts for touchdowns and also for "intercepting" a pitchout -- that was officially a fumble caused and recovered and returned 18 yards -- that set up another touchdown as the Tide got out to a 28-0 first quarter lead. Jones also had three tackles for loss.
Jones was joined in the players of he week category on special teams by placekicker Adam Griffith and cover man Michael Nysewander and on defense by linebacker Shaun Hamilton and end Dalvin Tomlinson. The offensive players of the week were quarterback Jacob Coker and center Ryan Kelly.
It was Senior Day with Jones, Nysewander, Coker, and Kelly all seniors.
Shaun Dion Hamilton made his fourth start of the year and had three tackles, one for loss, and helped limit the Buccaneers to just 134 total yards of offense. Tomlinson tied for the most total tackles for the Crimson Tide with four and helped apply pressure in the backfield against an option rushing attack from Charleston Southern.
Jones had a historical day on special teams, where he returned two punts for touchdowns from 43 yards and a career-high 72 yards out. With those returns, he became the first player to return two punts for touchdowns in the same game, as well as having punt returns for scores in back-to-back games. He totaled 115 return yards, for an average of 57.5 yards per runback, which is ranked as the fifth-most in a single game at Alabama. He leads the nation with three punt returns for touchdowns and now ranks seventh nationally and fourth in the SEC with an average of 14.4 yards per punt returns.
Griffith continues to be perfect on the season for point after scores, making seven in the game and 46 straight for the season. He also averaged 64.9 yards on eight kickoffs with five touchbacks. Nysewander received his second honor of the season after celebrating his final game day in Tuscaloosa, finishing with one tackle and helping limit the Buccaneers to just two kickoff returns for 30 yards.
Coker completed an efficient 11 of 13 passes for 155 yards in one half of play. He had a 21-yard touchdown pass to fellow senior Richard Mullaney and a 30-yard scoring strike to first-year wide receiver Calvin Ridley. Kelly also played his last home game for the Crimson Tide and continued his steady play, not allowing a sack or a hurry. The captain graded out at 88 per cent with one knockdown in 29 snaps of action in the first half, as the Crimson Tide opened up a 49-0 lead heading into halftime before sitting the starters.