Tide's Jones breaks out with 3 touchdowns
by Marq Burnett
mburnett@annistonstar.com
Sep 01, 2013 | 2017 views |  0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alabama wide receiver Christion Jones (22) grabs a touchdown pass past the defense of Virginia Tech cornerback Chris Caver. (Photo by Trent Penny)
Alabama wide receiver Christion Jones (22) grabs a touchdown pass past the defense of Virginia Tech cornerback Chris Caver. (Photo by Trent Penny)
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ATLANTA — Christion Jones plays wide receiver and specializes in returning kicks, but the junior has the mindset of a running back.

Jones isn’t a flashy punt and kick returner. He just like getting up field.

“It’s just me hitting the hole,” Jones said. “The blocking scheme is there so I just like to hit the hole and get downfield. I don’t really try to do to much shiftiness because you lose yards and you have guys coming at you.

“So I just hit the hole and get what I can get.”

That mentality helped Jones torch the Hokies for 256 total yards and three touchdowns in Alabama’s 35-10 victory over Virginia Tech in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game.

After the Crimson Tide forced Virginia Tech to punt following its opening drive, Jones took A.J. Hughes 56-yard punt 72 yards all the way for the game’s opening touchdown.

Jones said the Tide made a call for a middle return and the blocking paved the way for him to break one.

The Hokies didn’t learn after Jones’ first touchdown return and continued to kick it his way and he continued to make them pay.

In the second quarter, he ran back a kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown.

“You really don’t want them to stop kicking them to you when you have a good chance of taking them back,” Jones said. “The blocking scheme was set up great each time. There were a couple more we could have returned. They’re doing a good job and hopefully we can keep this going.”

The second touchdown return was a little more difficult. Jones was bottled up at one point, but broke free for the score. Jones said running back Dee Hart along with the gunners continued to block down field to help set up his returns.

“I broke a tackle, came around and the guys were still blocking,” Jones said. “It seemed like Virginia Tech thought the play was over with.

“The guys kept playing and that’s one thing we do consistently. If the whistles not blown, we’re going to keep playing and that’s what our guys did.”

His final score came on a 38-yard bomb from quarterback AJ McCarron. The Hokies sent pressure and left their cornerbacks on an island and Jones used his speed to beat the defender.

“They pressed and we took advantage of it,” Jones said. “AJ did a great job of connecting with me on the deep ball. The offensive line did a great job of holding up so he could get the ball off even though they had pressure. We did a great job of connecting on that play.”

Jones gives the Tide an added dimension in the return game that it might have lacked last season.

“He played an amazing game,” Tide safety Landon Collins said. “He’s a great athlete, one of the best on our team. If he keeps doing that, he can help take us all the way.”

Jones play came as a surprise to most except his teammates.

“He’s been working hard, and the entire team sees it,” Tide left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio said.
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