Sunday, September 29, 2013

Alabama’s “Iron Curtain” blanks uptempo Ole Miss

While many fans and experts predicted the Ole Miss/Alabama contest to be a track meet, the Crimson Tide defense spoiled the show with an “iron curtain” defensive performance. Placed on “upset alert” by many pundits, ‘Bama blanked the Rebels by the score of 25-0.
Ole Miss, which entered the contest averaging 38 points per game, was held scoreless courtesy of an angry and determined Alabama defense.

The Rebels, on countless occasions, entered Alabama territory and were turned away without fail. Three times the Crimson Tide would derail the Ole Miss offense on fourth-down conversion attempts. Tide linebacker C.J. Mosley, courtesy of a pass deflection, was responsible for arguably the most critical fourth-down stop of the game.
On the offensive side of the equation, Cade Foster, who has been rather inconsistent during his Alabama career, connected on field goals from 53 and 42 yards during the second quarter of play. The latter kick concluded the initial half of action to give Alabama a 9-0 lead at intermission.

As for the “meat and potatoes” of the UA offense, AJ McCarron had a steady effort and the Tide ground attack proved fruitful, especially in the second half of play. T.J. Yeldon rushed for 121 yards against the Rebels including a 68-yard touchdown run during the early portion of the third quarter. Not to be upstaged, running back Kenyan Drake, who had 99 yards rushing in the game, had a touchdown effort of 50 yards during the latter stages of the contest.

While Alabama didn’t achieve the much sought-after “complete game,” the Crimson Tide certainly rose to the challenge. While several pundits expected (hoped) the Tide to achieve “face plant status” on national television, Alabama made sure the only thing “planted” was the Ole Miss offense.
---Complete Stats---

Injury report

In various postgame comments, the play of reserve center Chad Lindsay was heralded as a tremendous effort. Lindsay, who "appeared" to take control of the line with his calls and overall aggression, seemed to "improve" the offensive front in the second half.

On the flipside, Lindsay's "game action" came as a result of Ryan Kelly's knee injury. Kelly, who went to the locker room in the second quarter of play, never returned to the game and was later seen on crutches.

In his postgame presser, Nick Saban addressed Kelly's status as well as the condition of running back T.J. Yeldon.

Saban on Kelly...
Saban on Yeldon...
It goes without saying that both players will be reevaluated (several times) in the days to come.

'Bama secondary proved primary

The knock on the Alabama defense, even in the preseason, was the lack of depth and experience at the defensive back position. As many have seen, fans and detractors alike, the Crimson Tide secondary has been a disaster much of the 2013 season.

However, not only did the Alabama corners answer the bell against the uptempo Rebels, the Crimson Tide finally found a corner to complement Deion Belue. True freshman Eddie Jackson is the new stud in town.
Jackson, who didn't play in Alabama's first two games, earned his first playing time (start) against Colorado State. While Jackson did a "decent" job against the Rams, the three-star talent (Rivals) brought new life to the secondary against the Rebels and appeared to have all the tools of a seasoned player.
If center Chad Lindsay is the critical piece the offensive line has been missing, Eddie Jackson is a Christmas present come early for the Tide secondary.

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Nick Perry undergoes season-ending surgery

Reserve safety Nick Perry, who injured his shoulder during game week prep for Colorado State, will be lost for the remainder of the 2013 season due to subsequent shoulder surgery.

Perry, in conjunction with his eligibility standing and NCAA policy, will most certainly be entitled to a medical redshirt.

Listed as a four-star prospect out of Prattville High School, Perry, a current scholarship senior, has played an integral role in the Crimson Tide secondary in terms of depth and experience.

Prior to Thursday’s surgery, Perry asked for prayer via his personal Twitter account.
The details of Perry's surgery, as well as recovery timetable, will be noted in a future post.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Crimson Crossover: Rebels pose threat to Tide

Ole Miss - 2013

Record: 3-0
Conference Record: 1-0 (SEC - Western Division)
Last Game: Ole Miss 44 Texas 23

Alabama - 2013

Record: 3-0
Conference Record: 1-0 (SEC - Western Division)
Last Game: Alabama 31 Colorado State 6

History lesson

Series: Alabama leads series 46-9-2 (First meeting in 1894)
Most Recent Meeting: Alabama 33 Ole Miss 14 (2012)

Setting the scene

Ole Miss vs. Alabama
Bryant-Denny Stadium – Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Betting Line: Alabama -15.5 (as of 9/24)


Beat writer of the week

Hugh Kellenberger - Ole Miss beat writer for the Jackson Clarion-Ledger.

Twitter: @HkellenbergerCL

Follow Hugh via Twitter to get the latest (breaking) news concerning the Ole Miss Rebels as they prepare for Alabama.

Ole Miss on the wire

>>Wallace says Rebels receivers better than Aggies, offense can score on Bama (with video)

>>Denzel Nkemdiche is going to give it a go, other injury news

>>Notes: Rebels looking to eliminate what-ifs

>>Ole Miss relishes shot at top-ranked Alabama

>>Donte Moncrief studying Mike Evans in prep for Bama (with video)

The weekly quotable

Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze is anxious to “measure” his squad against the top-ranked Crimson Tide.
The Crimson Elephant verdict

Ole Miss is a good team…Alabama is a mystery.

With consistency issues over the course of the first three games, the Crimson Tide have all the makings of a blind date. Which Tide team takes the field on any given Saturday is the equivalent of the stranger (date) behind the door. What happens over the course of the next three or four hours, on the field, is a mystery.

Is Alabama really the No. 1 team in the nation, or simply a confused group of underachievers destined for the Capital One Bowl?

Tide fans are yearning for the ultimate “complete game” that will calm the “cliff dwellers” and give new life and confidence to a seemingly unpredictable squad.
As for this week’s blind date…she goes by the name of Ole Miss. In terms of the “dating mystery,” the Rebels are all about high-octane. Mystery solved!

Bo Wallace is a solid quarterback and he has an excellent supporting cast of receivers and rushers to put points on the board. Freshman wide receiver Laquon Treadwell has bloomed into one of the best players in the SEC and his contributions to the Rebel offense will only increase as the season progresses.

Defensively, the name of the game is Nkemdiche. Denzel and Robert Nkemdiche are stellar at the defensive end and linebacker positions. Denzel, the eldest brother, is expected to return to action in time for the contest with Alabama after being sidelined due to a knee injury that required surgery. While the Rebels aren’t an “iron curtain” on defense, they certainly have the talent to confuse an often scatterbrained Alabama offense.

Saturday night will be a “proving ground” for both Ole Miss and Alabama. Ideally, Ole Miss, the “good team,” will get a taste of the No. 1 program in the nation and be sent flailing back to earth. However, this game could be Ole Miss’ coming out party, and Alabama could be the team left searching for answers after a loss.

One can’t predict weekly improvement, one can only predict based on what has been seen. Under that logic, what has been seen has been a rather ugly picture for Tuscaloosa's crown jewel.

Expect the Crimson Tide to defeat Ole Miss and improve to 4-0 on the season, but also expect UA fans to leave Bryant-Denny...still wondering what's wrong with Alabama.

Alabama 34
Ole Miss 24

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Monday, September 23, 2013

The Elephant Print: Alabama special teams

Courtesy of a blocked punt "scoop and score" and a 46-yard field goal, the Alabama special teams unit earned 10 points of production against Colorado State.

For their efficiency against the Rams, the special teams department have been awarded the "Elephant Print Award" for game three of the 2013 season.

In addition to the 10 points earned Saturday night, the Crimson Tide have garnered a grand total of three touchdowns in the special teams department thus far in 2013.

In the season-opener against Virginia Tech, Christion Jones scored via punt return and kickoff return to highlight the special teams effort. For his contributions against the Hokies, Jones received the first "Elephant Print Award" for 2013.

Congratulations to the Alabama special teams department for not only coming up big against Colorado State, but for being a staple of the Alabama squad this season.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Top-ranked Tide sleepwalks through Colorado State

Courtesy of a special teams touchdown, timely defense, and just enough second half offense, the Alabama Crimson Tide held off the pesky Colorado State Rams by the score of 31-6.

In a contest that felt much closer than the final score, the Tide, who appeared to “sleepwalk” through a large portion of the game, were able to score two offensive touchdowns in the final quarter to officially seal the victory.

Reminiscent of the season-opener against Virginia Tech, the Alabama offensive line struggled at times, and especially found the going tough in the run block department. Needless to say, because of an insufficient outing, the Alabama rushing attack was anemic.

Call it a “post-Aggie hangover” or simply not respecting the opposition, but in truth, the Alabama squad looked shaky and inconsistent. Right or wrong, expect a faction of Tide fans to do more questioning than celebrating over the next 24 hours.

While the sky is certainly not falling, the Crimson Tide have yet to play back-to-back consistent games. In fact, every game has looked different with no "signature sign" of stability in critical areas.

31-6 is still "easy street" on the scoreboard, but the important factor is not always that a team wins, but rather how a team wins. In truth, the honest identity of the 2013 Alabama football team has yet to be established and revealed.

Alabama's lackluster performance against Colorado State will certainly provide Nick Saban with an endless supply of "teaching tools" in the days to come.

--Complete Stats--
Tide on Twitter

AJ McCarron comments about Alabama's lackluster offense...
All about respect...
Third down woes for 'Bama...
Running in quicksand... (USC = South Carolina)
Pass happy Tide?
Saban not pleased with underachieving squad...
Injury report

DB - Deion Belue (Toe)
WR - Amari Cooper (Foot/Toe)
WR - Kevin Norwood (Leg)
S - Nick Perry (Shoulder)
RG - Anthony Steen (Post-Concussion Symptoms)
DB/S - Jarrick Williams (Eye)

Due to the injuries in the secondary, coupled with substandard performance against Texas A&M, true freshman Eddie Jackson (first college game) and redshirt sophomore Bradley Sylve were the starters at defensive back against Colorado State.
Turn the power on

Rome wasn't built in a day, and the current edition of the Alabama football team is still under construction.

It goes without saying that injuries do play a factor when attempting to form chemistry on both sides of the ball, but thus far with the 2013 Tide, focus and intensity seem to carry an on/off switch. The lights need to be on at all times in order to perform at a high (and expected) level.

When Alabama welcomes Ole Miss to town in less than a week, something will need to change. The Rebels are an upstart and confident team with many skill players, especially on offense.

Sleepwalking is a dangerous game, and Alabama will need a good wake up call if they expect to survive the SEC. The opposition(s) will certainly not wait for the Crimson Tide to figure things out.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Alabama looks for additional help at defensive back

Deion Belue, who suffered a toe injury against Texas A&M, is very questionable for Alabama’s contest against Colorado State. Nick Saban, during his weekly SEC teleconference, suggested as many as five defensive backs are in the running to see game action if Belue is unable to participate.
Alabama beat writer Andrew Gribble has the story…
In addition to Belue, wide receiver Kevin Norwood is also questionable for the Colorado State game. Norwood suffered what appeared to be a foot injury during the contest against Texas A&M.

Norwood, along with the aforementioned Belue, have not practiced this week and have been essentially relegated to riding stationary bikes.
Saban is diggin’ Ricky

Ricky Williams, the former Heisman winner at the University of Texas, and accomplished NFL star, is currently the running backs coach at the University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio. During today’s SEC teleconference, Nick Saban expressed his interest in Williams as a coach.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Crimson Crossover: McElwain returns to 'Bama

Colorado State - 2013

Record: 1-2
Conference Record: 0-0 (Mountain West Conference – Mountain Division)
Last Game: Colorado State 34 Cal Poly 17

Alabama - 2013

Record: 2-0
Conference Record: 1-0 (SEC – Western Division)
Last Game: Alabama 49 Texas A&M 42

History lesson

This is the first meeting between Colorado State and Alabama.

Setting the scene

Colorado State vs. Alabama
Bryant-Denny Stadium – Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Betting Line: Alabama -39.5 (as of 9/17)

Beat writer of the week

In lieu of a prominent beat writer for Colorado State, The Crimson Elephant implores Tide fans to follow head coach Jim McElwain and the CSU Rams via Twitter.

Jim McElwain: @CoachMcElwain
Colorado State Football: @CSUFootball

Follow both social media accounts to get the latest (breaking) news concerning the Colorado State Rams as they prepare for Alabama.

Colorado State on the wire

>> Football Game Notes: Colorado State at Alabama, Sept. 21

>> Colorado State wants to see where it stands against No. 1 Alabama

>> Colorado State views Alabama game as a prime opportunity

>> Colorado State hopes for the best against top-ranked Alabama

>> Jim McElwain says his CSU Rams won't be intimidated at Alabama
The weekly quotables

In honor of CSU head coach Jim McElwain, and the significant role he played in aiding to build Alabama's current dynasty, this section is dedicated to the former Alabama offensive coordinator.

McElwain on playing Alabama...
McElwain on AJ McCarron...
McElwain on his time at Alabama...
Saban on McElwain...
The Crimson Elephant Verdict

While the Colorado State/Alabama contest shouldn't be much of a game in respect to head-to-head competition, the game will provide a quality service for both teams.

The Rams will get a nice read on where they stand as a program in terms of talent, heart, and mental resolve, while 'Bama will be able to experiment with personnel on both sides of the ball...especially at the cornerback position.

Excluding the obvious money grab for the Rams, and an easy win for the Tide, the Saturday night contest at Bryant-Denny Stadium will be of great benefit for both teams moving forward.

Jim McElwain is in the process of building a competitive program, while Nick Saban is in the process of sustaining "the process."

Pay little attention to the scoreboard, because the importance of this game won't be recorded in numbers.

Alabama 45
Colorado State 7

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Elephant Print: Alabama's offensive unit

Following a lackluster performance against Virginia Tech, the Alabama offense came to life in College Station.

Led by AJ McCarron, the SEC Offensive Player of the Week, UA accumulated 568 yards of total offense and 49 points.

In honor of these accomplishments, the Crimson Tide offensive unit is the recipient of the "Elephant Print Award" for their performance against Texas A&M.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

College Station Classic: Alabama 49 Texas A&M 42

Alabama has won the College Station track meet. Please stand for the gold medal presentation, followed by the national anthem.

Or something like that…

In a game that lived up to the hype in every possible way, Alabama held off Johnny Manziel and the Texas A&M Aggies by the score of 49-42. The 42 points marked the highest total the Alabama program has ever allowed in victory.
While the SEC is traditionally associated with quality defense, the tussle in College Station was the equivalent of utilizing a roll of Brawny to hold back a flood. Make no mistake, a few “game-changing” defensive plays were made, but that was the exception…not the rule.

Although the final stats read like an infinite math equation, the overall performances, by both squads, left fans reaching for the blood pressure medication, and possibly a stiff drink. No lead was ever safe, and for a time, it appeared that 49 points still wouldn’t be enough for the Tide.

In what can only be described as an “instant classic,” Alabama earned a hard-fought victory, while answering a slew of questions on the offensive side of the ball.

AJ McCarron, if the nation needed additional proof, is no longer a game manager, but rather a game changer. McCarron continues to carve the Alabama record book like a Thanksgiving turkey, while showing amazing poise and leadership in pressure situations.
While defense was certainly at a premium, Alabama safety Vinnie Sunseri's "pick-six" of A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel was certainly one of the biggest "highlights" of the game, and a major turning point in the contest.
The Alabama/Texas A&M showdown featured enough magic to make David Copperfield blush, but in the end, Alabama had just enough ability to make the Aggies disappear.

Some people watched...
Twitter Tide

AJ McCarron shared his thoughts following Alabama's victory over the pesky Aggies.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who was on the receiving end of a horrible officiating call (targeting) in the early stages of the game, took a rather "chill" approach to the A&M game and what awaits the 2013 Tide.
Injury report

While safety Landon Collins and linebacker Adrian Hubbard both exited the game due to heat related matters, defensive back Deion Belue was the only injury of note. Per Nick Saban, during his postgame presser, Belue's ailment was described as a possible case of turf toe.
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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Bryant turns 100, Saban gives highest praise to A&M

While Nick Saban is the "current royalty" of college football, Paul W. "Bear" Bryant is still, in the eyes of many, the undisputed "King" of the college ranks.

Bryant, who passed away in January of 1983, was born on September 11, 1913.

In honor of Bryant's 100th birthday, The Crimson Elephant pays tribute to a legend.

Aggie injuries

As noted in The Crimson Crossover, Texas A&M will be without safety Floyd Raven, and "potentially" Ricky Seals-Jones.

While offensive coordinator Clarence McKinney said Seals-Jones has a "good chance" of playing, the highly touted wide receiver is still day-to-day.
Swinging at Johnny

Care to take a swing at Johnny Manziel? Batter up!
Beat me once...

Nick Saban's record at Alabama has been well documented, and his record in "rematch" games is extraordinary. Saban isn't unbeatable, but history warns against repeat victories against the Tide head coach.
Saban places A&M offense in rarefied air

Coach speak? Probably. One of the highest compliments any offensive squad could ever receive. Absolutely!

Per Saban, the A&M offense is on the front row of greatness.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Crimson Crossover: Welcome to Manzielville

Alabama - 2013

Record: 1-0
Conference Record: 0-0
Last Game: Alabama 35 Virginia Tech 10

Texas A&M - 2013

Record: 2-0
Conference Record 0-0
Last Game: Texas A&M 65 Sam Houston State 28

History lesson

Series: Alabama leads 3-2 (First meeting in 1941)
Most Recent Meeting: Texas A&M 29 Alabama 24 (2012)

Setting the scene

Alabama vs. Texas A&M
Kyle Field – College Station, Texas
Betting Line: Alabama -7.5 (as of 9/10)


Beat writer of the week

Brent Zwerneman - Covers Texas A&M for the San Antonio Express-News and the Houston Chronicle.

Twitter: @BrentZwerneman

Follow Brent via Twitter to get the latest (breaking) news concerning the Texas A&M Aggies as they prepare for Alabama.

Texas A&M on the wire

With the hype surrounding Alabama/Texas A&M, Johnny Manziel views the encounter as simply another game.

>>>Manziel on Alabama: ‘It feels like another game. … Like Week 3 of the season.’

Due to Alabama's bye week, "Johnny Football" feels that A&M has the advantage.

>>>Manziel: Aggies have edge over Tide

Thanks to a "Manziel Cam" courtesy of CBS, if little Johnny picks his nose...the world will get a front row seat.

>>>Manziel Gets Own Camera
Several suspended Aggies will return for the contest against Alabama.

>>>Texas A&M's defense back at full strength for Tide game

While many have criticized the Texas A&M defense for allowing 31 points to Rice, and 28 to Sam Houston State, Nick Saban is on the opposite end of the spectrum.
The Manziel/McCarron "rematch" will usher in a touch of rarefied air.
Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin detailed the Aggie "injury report" during his Tuesday media obligation. Safety Floyd Raven will miss the 'Bama game due to a collarbone injury.
The Aggies expect wide receiver Ricky Seals-Jones to play against the Crimson Tide. Seals-Jones has been dealing with a knee issue. Offensive coordinator Clarence McKinney confirmed the news.
Millions of dollars...Aggie style

Who says old people aren't "hip" to the times? Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin probably has the "moves like Jagger" with energy to spare!

While R. Bowen Loftin has yet to give his best Johnny Manziel "air sig" impression, the A&M president has taken a moment to "make it rain"..."Johnny Football" style.

Money money...yeah yeah!

The naked truth about A&M

Welp. Hmm...

When it was a good idea...
When given time to ponder the notion...
The weekly quotable

Texas A&M offensive coordinator Clarence McKinney with a "coach speak" compliment for the Alabama defense. Kindly ignore the spelling error in the Zwerneman tweet.
The Crimson Elephant verdict

Is the Alabama offensive line really that bad...or is the Virginia Tech defensive line really one of the best in the nation?

Is the Texas A&M defense really that bad...or were the suspensions on that side of the ball really the difference?

When predicting a game of this magnitude, the above questions are important, yet, in the end, the verdict will be based upon personal conclusions.

While the Alabama offensive line is "green," the conclusion is that Virginia's Tech's defensive front is one of the best in the nation. Is that a fact? No. Is it of high probability? Yes.

The Texas A&M defense, the defense that allowed 31 points to Rice and 28 points to Sam Houston State, looks flimsy. Suspensions or not, both Rice and Sam Houston State are inferior opponents. Aggie fans should be worried about those point totals. A&M fans should also be worried about Alabama's offensive weapons against a "statistically proven" weak defense.

Johnny Manziel is the undisputed star, but too much weight is being placed on him in both directions.

Contrary to popular belief, Manziel didn't have a stellar game against Alabama in 2012...he had a stellar quarter. The Aggie defense, in the end, was the difference. A&M forced numerous turnovers against the Tide, including the game clinching interception.

The 2013 contest will be decided by the Alabama offensive line and the Texas A&M defense. Going by that assumption, the outcome of this game could be decided within the first 10 minutes of the contest.

An old adage will stay true in this game. Defense really does win championships!

Expect the Crimson Tide to give up some big plays, and perhaps look foolish at times in the shadow of Manziel, but in the end, 'Bama will simply be the better team...with the better defense.

Alabama isn't Rice, and they're certainly not FCS Sam Houston State. Unless the Aggies have a "Manziel-esque" performance on defense, they won't last four quarters.

Expect "Johnny Cam" to feature Manziel glaring helplessly at the Aggie defense.

Alabama 38
Texas A&M 23

*In true respect, if this prediction is wrong, The Crimson Elephant will be the first to give Texas A&M their just due. Guarantee it...*

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Tide's Tomlinson injures knee, surgery required

Redshirt freshman defensive end Dalvin Tomlinson sustained a knee injury during Wednesday's practice session. Per Nick Saban, the injury will require surgery.

Saban, following Thursday's practice, notified the media of Tomlinson's situation. While no official word was given as to the detailed nature of the injury, Saban noted that a timetable would be given after the surgical procedure.
Tide beat writer Andrew Gribble has more on the story...
Tomlinson, who was considered a vital reserve at the defensive end position, made his Crimson Tide debut against Virginia Tech.

In terms of a replacement on the depth chart, expect true freshmen Jonathan Allen and/or A'Shawn Robinson to fill Tomlinson's role.

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Cameron Robinson gives verbal to Alabama

West Monroe High School (West Monroe, LA) offensive tackle Cameron Robinson has given his verbal commitment to the University of Alabama for 2014.

Robinson, who stands 6-foot-6 and tops the scale at 320-pounds, is considered the No. 1 offensive tackle in the nation in respect to the 2014 national class.
Ranked the top overall player in the nation by 247Sports, Robinson is a five-star prospect across the board. In respect to, the service utilized by The Crimson Elephant, Robinson is the No. 3 overall prospect in the nation.

Selecting Alabama over LSU in his final decision, the Monroe product will join fellow Monroe native, and friend, Cameron Sims, on Alabama’s 2014 verbal commitment list.
In respect to additional connections, Robinson is also close with highly touted safety prospect Ronnie Clark. Listed as a four-star talent per, Clark plays for Calera High School in Calera, AL. Currently being pursued by the Crimson Tide for 2014, Clark grew up with Robinson in the city of Monroe.

With his commitment to the Crimson Tide, Cameron Robinson becomes the 20th verbal pledge in respect to Alabama’s 2014 signing class.


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Bell uses social media to announce football departure

Alabama wide receiver Kenny Bell has expressed his intention, via Twitter, to leave the University of Alabama football program.

Bell, a senior from Rayville, LA, was expected to be a major offensive contributor this season.

As a junior, Bell caught 17 passes for 431 yards including three touchdown receptions.

Excerpt from Bell via Twitter...
This story will be updated as soon as more information becomes available.

6:30 p.m. UPDATE:
On the surface, it would appear that Bell's declaration to quit the Tide football team was a "knee- jerk" reaction to potentially a plethora of concerns. - the #1 destination for headwear

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Elephant Print: Wide receiver Christion Jones

In a contest where the Alabama offense sputtered, Christion Jones took a page directly from the Virginia Tech playbook.

The Hokies, known for domination in the special teams department, had the tables turned Saturday afternoon courtesy of Jones.

With a total of three touchdowns, two of the special teams variety, the Alabama wide receiver has earned the first “Elephant Print Award” of the 2013 season.

Congratulations to Christion Jones!

Jones received both conference and national acclaim for his performance against Virginia Tech.
Jones' highlights against the Hokies...