Bama beats Tech 35-10. Revisiting the “five ways to win without winning” from the column and assessing how the Hokies did.
1. Trey Edmunds rushes for 60 or more yards.
Rousing success. He got 132 yards on 20 carries. Biggest positive takeaway from this game, in my opinion, and the subject of my column tomorrow.
2. The starting offensive line holds its ground.
You know what? It did. Tech allowed only one sack. Edmunds gushed that the linemen “blocked their butts off” and all he had to do was run behind them. On his 77-yard TD run, he said both the D-linemen AND linebackers were all picked up. Alabama coach Nick Saban said “They outplayed us up front, if you want to know the truth.”
3. Tech’s receivers haul in every reasonably catchable ball.
Fail, fail, fail.
4. Tech’s defense sacks A.J. McCarron at least twice.
The Hokies got four — Jack Tyler, Luther Maddy, Dadi Nicolas and Nigel Williams with one apiece. Tech’s defense was superb.
5. Logan Thomas stays healthy.
Phyically, yeah. Psychologically? You have to wonder, after he went 5-for-26 with a pick-6 and his receivers dropped numerous passes.
TOTAL SCORE: 3.5 out of 5.
FINAL: Alabama 35, Hokies 10. Back to wrap things up after interviews.
The Hokies trail 35-10 after three, as Christion Jones adds another big play to his monster performance. After catching a 38-yard touchdown pass for the only score of the period, Jones has scored on a reception, kick return and punt return.
Overall, Tech’s defensive effort has been very encouraging. Alabama has 163 yards of total offense.
Edmunds has cooled off a bit but is up to 132 yards on 18 carries, an average of 7.3 per tote. He made a nice spin move to shake linebacker Trey DePriest for a gain of 7 late in the period.
Hokies have it near midfield to start the fourth.
The Hokies go to the locker room trailing 28-10, and a pair of special teams blunders are the biggest difference.
Alabama’s Christion Jones has scored on a 72-yard punt return and a 94-yard kick return. Saw at least two missed tackles on the latter, followed by Frank Beamer doing a facepalm on the sidelines.
The temptation is to say that Beamerball is dead. The only problem with that is those of us who’ve watched this team regularly pronounced it dead long ago. I’m talking YEARS ago.
Trey Edmunds has been a revelation. Ten carries for 106 yards for the redshirt freshman, who’s shown both breakaway speed and a power component. He also caught a pass out of the backfield. Everything starts with the tailback in Blacksburg, and Tech has a good one.
Tech’s defense has been superb. Cornerback Kyle Fuller has an interception and several athletic pass breakups. The line has been getting penetration. Very encouraging.
Tech has outgained ‘Bama 155 to 97, but when you’re scoring on returns, you don’t care that you’re getting outgained.
Logan Thomas is 3-for-14 passing for 40 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. Not good. He has had a few drops by his receivers, though, and I’ve seen him throw the ball away twice rather than take a sack.
Bama gets the ball to start the second half. I think if you’re a Tech fan looking for silver linings tonight, you don’t have to look too hard. They’ve been there.
Hokies trail 14-7 after one but have momentum after a 77-yard touchdown run by redshirt freshman tailback Trey Edmunds on his third career carry. Incredible burst shown by Edmunds in outrunning the Bama secondary to the end zone.
The game started disastrously for Tech, with the offense gaining nothing on the first series and Bama returning the punt 72 yards for a score. A 2-yard TD run by T.J. Yeldon bumped the lead to 14-0 before Edmunds broke free with 1:37 left in the period.
UA–Jones 72 punt return (Foster kick), 13:21. Alabama 7, Virginia Tech 0.
UA–Yeldon 2 run (Foster kick), 1:53. Drive: 11 plays, 49 yards, 5:00. Key play: Norwood 11 pass from McCarron on third-and-8 to VT 36. Alabama 14, Virginia Tech 0.
VT–Edmunds 77 run (Journell kick), 1:37. Drive: One play, 77 yards, :11. Alabama 14, Virginia Tech 7.
UA–Sunseri 38 interception return (Foster kick), 14:04. Alabama 21, Virginia Tech 7.
VT–FG Journell 39, 3:39. Drive: Seven plays, 12 yards, 7:07. Alabama 21, Virginia Tech 10.
UA–Jones 94 kickoff return (Foster kick), 3:25. Alabama 28, Virginia Tech 10.
UA–Jones 38 pass from McCarron (Foster kick), 3:43. Drive: Four plays, 47 yards, 1:35. Key play: Yeldon 11 run to VT 36. Alabama 35, Virginia Tech 10.
Alabama, Stinson 2-6-1/2, Mosley 3-4-0, Clinton-Dix 2-4-0, Collins 3-2-0, Fulton 2-3-0, Tomlinson 2-2-0, Sunseri 1-3-0, Williams 2-1-0, Devall 2-0-0, Allen 2-0-0, Pagan 1-1-0, Anderson 1-1-1/2, DePriest 0-2-0, Robinson 0-2-0, Dickson 0-2-0, Ivory 0-2-0, Ragland 0-2-0, Hubbard 0-2-0, Jones 1-0-0, Hart 1-0-0, Marndell 1-0-0, Foster 0-1-0, Lake 0-1-0, lee 0-1-0, Belue 0-1-0, Owens 0-1-0, Totals 26-44-1.
Virginia Tech, Tyler 3-5-1, Edwards 1-5-0, Ke. Fuller 4-0-0, Maddy 3-1-1, Ky. Fuller 2-2-0, Jarrett 2-2-0, Clark 2-2-0, Nicolas 3-0-1, Wilson 1-2-0, N. Williams 1-2-1, Collins 1-2-0, Trimble 0-3-0, Hopkins 0-3-0, DiNardo 0-3-0, Bonner 2-0-0, Frye 1-1-0, Riley 1-1-0, Roth 0-2-0, Redman 1-0-0, Facyson 1-0-0, C. Williams 0-1-0, Baron 0-1-0, Totals 29-38-4.
Jonathan McLaughlin will be the first true freshman to start at left tackle under Beamer.
The last time an unranked team beat the nation’s top-ranked team was in 2008 when Oregon State upset No. 1 Southern Cal at home. Top-ranked teams are 25-1 all-time against unranked teams at neutral sites.
The Hokies are dressing 29 freshmen tonight (11 true, 18 redshirt).
A little more than an hour away from kickoff as fans begin to file into the Georgia Dome. Bama is a 21-point favorite. Straight up, you can get about 8-to-1 if you think the Hokies are going to win (and are right).
I’ll provide some thoughts on each of the first three quarters, then have some wrap-up thoughts after going down for postgame interviews.
Here’s today’s column: Five ways the Hokies can win tonight without winning.
Kickoff at 5:30 p.m. Drop by and share your thoughts.