Friday, September 27, 2013

(W) Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech

Bleacher Report:
The Virginia Tech Hokies opened their ACC season in impressive fashion on Thursday, defeating Georgia Tech 17-10 in Atlanta.

The win improves the Hokies to 4-1 on the season and 1-0 in the ACC. It is even bigger for the Hokies, considering the Yellow Jackets were 2-0 in conference play entering the game.

Logan Thomas stepped up big for the Hokies, completing 19 of 25 passes for 221 yards. Thomas also led the team in rushing and did not turn the ball over. He matched Tyrod Taylor's school record of 23 rushing touchdowns by a quarterback.

Virginia Tech scored the game's first 14 points on a short Thomas pass to D.J. Coles in the first quarter and a 5-yard Thomas keeper in the second. Sophomore wide receiver Demitri Knowles led Tech with five catches for 67 yards.

Too many times on Thursday night, Georgia Tech got pressure up the middle. Pass protection as a whole was solid, but Virginia Tech struggled diagnosing Georgia Tech blitzers all night. The running game was nonexistent. The Hokies finished with just 55 yards on 27 carries.

The Hokies have now won four straight over the Yellow Jackets. A big reason for that success is Bud Foster's ability to shut down Paul Johnson's flexbone option offense. Virginia Tech held the Jackets to just 129 yards rushing on 42 attempts. That is a meager 3.1 yards per attempt.

Foster's defense held Georgia Tech to just 198 yards rushing last year. The unit was even better on Thursday night.

Kyle Fuller set the tone for the Hokies on Georgia Tech's first possession. He was involved in the first three plays of the game and forced a Vad Lee fumble on that same drive. Fuller moved back to whip linebacker, a position he played with great success in 2011, because the Hokies wanted to get as much speed on the field as possible.

Senior defensive tackle Derrick Hopkins finished with seven tackles, including five solo stops. He consistently pushed Georgia Tech's interior linemen into Vad Lee once the ball was snapped. Luther Maddy was terrific, too. James Gayle had his usual outstanding game, although he didn't post a sack. Gayle put pressure on Lee several times, forcing him to make ill-advised throws.

The great thing about this Virginia Tech defensive line is depth. The Hokies can comfortably go eight deep and not experience a dramatic drop in productivity.

Special Teams
The Hokies have a senior kicker this year, but things aren't going quite so well. Cody Journell, a three-year starter and former All-ACC kicker, has missed three field goals and an extra point in his last two games. The Hokies were fortunate it didn't cost them either game.

If Journell made the short field-goal attempt against the Yellow Jackets, it would have sealed the game. Journell, who was suspended for last week's game, said a mechanical flaw caused him to struggle in Week 3 and he had fixed it.

More information:
» Virginia Tech Reports Threats Against Kicker to Police
» Washington Post: J.R. Collins Has Turned His Game Around

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Futurama's Fourth and Final Finale

"The future concocted here comes straight out of sci-fi comics of the 1950s with art deco style in a Jetsons-like future. The characters remain very Simpsons-esque, because, Groening says, 'That's the only way I can draw, with big eyeballs and no chins.'"
The series was envisioned by Matt Groening in the late 1990s while working on The Simpsons, later bringing executive producer David X. Cohen (a writer for The Simpsons for five years) aboard to develop storylines and characters to pitch the show to Fox. Groening and Cohen have served as executive producers and show runners during the show's entire run, and also function as creative consultants. Ken Keeler became an executive producer for Season 4 and subsequent seasons.

In the United States, the series aired on Fox from March 28, 1999, to August 10, 2003, before ceasing production. Futurama was then aired in reruns on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim from 2003 to 2007, until the network's contract expired. It was revived in 2008 as four direct-to-video films; the last of which was released in early 2009. Comedy Central entered into an agreement with 20th Century Fox Television to syndicate the existing episodes and air the films as 16 new, half-hour episodes, constituting a fifth season.

In June 2009, producing studio 20th Century Fox announced that Comedy Central had picked up the show for 26 new half-hour episodes, which began airing in 2010 and 2011. The show was renewed for a seventh season, with the first half airing in June 2012 and the second set for early summer 2013. It was later revealed that the seventh season would be the final season, as Comedy Central announced that they would not be commissioning any further episodes. The series finale aired on September 4, 2013, though Groening has said he will try to get it picked up by another network.

Due to the uncertain future of the series, there have been four designated series finales. "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings", "Into the Wild Green Yonder (Part 4)" and "Overclockwise" have all been written to serve as a final episode for the show. The episode "Meanwhile" currently stands as the show's official series finale.

Rough Draft Studios animates Futurama. The studio receives the completed script of an episode and storyboards it into over 100 drawings. It then creates a pencil-drawn animatic with 1000 frames. Rough Draft's sister studio in South Korea renders the 30,000-frame finished episode.

In addition to traditional cartoon drawing, Rough Draft Studios often uses CGI for fast or complex shots, such as the movement of spaceships, explosions, nebulae, and snow scenes. The opening sequence is entirely rendered in CGI. The CGI is rendered at 24 frames per second (as opposed to hand-drawn often done at 12 frames per second).

Throughout its run, Futurama has received critical acclaim. The show has been nominated for 17 Annie Awards and 12 Emmy Awards, winning seven of the former and six of the latter. It has also been nominated four times for a Writers Guild of America Award, winning two for the episodes "Godfellas" and "The Prisoner of Benda", been nominated for a Nebula Award and has received Environmental Media Awards for episodes "The Problem with Popplers" and "The Futurama Holiday Spectacular". Futurama-related merchandise has also been released, including a tie-in comic book series and video game, calendars, clothes, and figurines. A crossover episode with The Simpsons is scheduled to be released during that show's 25th season.

Emmy Wins:
  • Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation
    • 2000–Bari Kumar (color stylist) for episode "A Bicyclops Built for Two"
    • 2001–Rodney Clouden (storyboard artist) for episode "Parasites Lost"
  • Outstanding Animated Program
    • 2002–"Roswell That Ends Well"
    • 2011–"The Late Philip J. Fry"
  • Outstanding Voice-Over Performance
    • 2011–Maurice LaMarche, as Lrrr & Orson Welles for episode "Lrrreconcilable Ndndifferences"
    • 2012–Maurice LaMarche, as Clamps, Donbot, Hyper-Chicken, Calculon, Hedonism Bot & Morbo for episode "The Silence of the Clamps"
Emmy Nominations:
  • Outstanding Animated Program
    • 1999–"A Big Piece of Garbage"
    • 2001–"Amazon Women in the Mood"
    • 2003–"Jurassic Bark"
    • 2004–"The Sting"
    • 2012–"The Tip of the Zoidberg"
  • Outstanding Music and Lyrics
    • 2004–The song "I Want My Hands Back" for episode "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings"

More information:
» The Face Magazine (1999): "Nice Planet...We'll Take It!"
» Science Fiction Weekly's 2001 Interview with Executive Producer David Cohen

Sunday, September 22, 2013

New Politics - "Harlem" (2013)

New Politics is a rock band from Copenhagen, Denmark. It is made up of David Boyd, Søren Hansen, and Louis Vecchio. The band's sound is mainly alternative rock. It has been described as a blend of "punk, pop, and electronically induced dance rock".

In November, 2009, New Politics signed with RCA. They did a brief UK tour, and then went on to do a nation-wide US tour. They also decided to move to the US, because of the new record deal with RCA. They currently reside in a loft apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York.

On November 26, 2012, a song titled "Harlem" was promoted as the first single from their new album and is featured in the 2013 video game NHL 14. Their second album, A Bad Girl in Harlem, was released on May 21, 2013.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

(W) Virginia Tech vs. Marshall (3OT)

Washington Post:
“I feel like my entire time here, all those breaks have gone the other team’s way,” Jack Tyler said after Virginia Tech escaped with a dramatic 29-21 win over Marshall in triple overtime. “It just felt like today they were finally coming our way. It’s nice to finally get a game like that.”

Hokies cornerback Kyle Fuller blocked a Marshall punt two minutes into the first quarter, and Virginia Tech jumped out to a 7-0 lead when linebacker Derek DiNardo returned it for a touchdown.

“It’s good to get back to doing some things that we’ve done for a long time that win ballgames,” said Hokies Coach Frank Beamer, whose once-vaunted special teams have come under scrutiny this season.

Virginia Tech’s defense held Marshall (2-2) scoreless in the second half and all three overtimes, recovering after quarterback Rakeem Cato (19 for 41 for 228 yards and three total touchdowns) led his team on three straight touchdown drives before halftime.

Thomas, meanwhile, continued to be erratic throwing the football, although he did run for 58 yards and account for three touchdowns. At one point, Thomas (18 for 34 for 181 yards) had nine straight incompletions, including two interceptions. The Hokies converted just 2 of 16 third-down opportunities for the game.

However, some good karma came Thomas’s way following a 43-yard run by tailback Trey Edmunds (110 yards on 22 carries), when Willie Byrn caught a six-yard touchdown that was nearly intercepted, tying the game at 21-21.

Marshall had a chance to win it in regulation when Cato hit Devon Smith for 43 yards on third-and-13 from his 19 to the Hokies' 34. But when Smith got behind the defense again, and Cato hit him in stride, safety Kyshoen Jarrett met him at the ball and intercepted it, preserving the tie.

First overtime
After losing eight yards, backup place kicker Ethan Keyserling missed a 50-yard field goal for the Hokies. Justin Haig had a chance to win it for Thundering Herd in the first overtime, but his 39-yard attempt was blocked by defensive tackle Derrick Hopkins, forcing the second overtime.

Second overtime
On third and 13, defensive end J.R. Collins sacked Cato and stripped him of the ball. Hopkins — all 311 pounds of him — almost takes the recovery to the end zone but is dragged down after 40 yards. The Hokies played it safe for the field goal, but Keyserling missed wide right from 32 yards.

Third overtime
After a pass interference call in the endzone, Logan Thomas scored from two yards out and also ran for the two-point conversion. When Marshall faced fourth and nine from the 14, Davonte Allen let Cato’s pass slip through his fingers in the end zone, sealing the Hokies’ victory.

To note: The Hokies were again woeful kicking, with Cody Journell not dressing after he missed four kicks last week.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

(W) Virginia Tech at East Carolina

"The Hokies (2-1) got a safety after a sack from defensive end James Gayle with 1:31 left in the game to hold on for its fourth straight win over the Pirates. Since beating Virginia Tech in the 2008 opener, ECU has lost 11 of 12 games against ACC teams."
GREENVILLE, N.C. -- Logan Thomas threw two touchdown passes and Virginia Tech turned in a dominating defensive performance to beat East Carolina 15-10 on Saturday.

Thomas' second TD toss, a 3-yard score to D.J. Coles with 4:09 left in the third quarter, put the Hokies (2-1) ahead to stay.

The Pirates (2-1) had their own chance for a go-ahead drive, getting the ball back at their own 10 with 2:04 left. But the Hokies sacked Shane Carden on first down, then James Gayle stripped Carden from behind in the end zone for a safety that essentially sealed the win.

Virginia Tech had seven sacks, 11 tackles for loss and three interceptions. The Hokies also held the Pirates to a meager 3-for-11 third-down conversion rate.

Virginia Tech needed every bit of that production, too. Its offense had to grind out tough yards all day, while Cody Journell missed two field goals and an extra point.

It was difficult to know what to make of the Hokies coming in. They lost their opener to No. 1 Alabama in an ugly performance full of dropped passes by Hokies receivers that led to a 5-for-26 passing day for Thomas. They followed that with a 45-3 win against Championship Subdivision opponent Western Carolina at home.

But the formula Saturday was to rely on the defense and avoid major mistakes -- Journell's off-target kicking, aside -- to win on the road. Virginia Tech allowed just 204 total yards and hasn't allowed more than 206 in a game this season.

East Carolina was going for its first 3-0 start since 2008, when the Pirates opened with a win against the Hokies in Charlotte followed by an upset of West Virginia the following week. But the Pirates had lost three straight to the Hokies and nine of 10 regular-season meetings with Atlantic Coast Conference opponents since that start.

Things looked promising when Carden directed the Pirates on a 75-yard touchdown drive that lasted just 99 seconds to start the game. But the Pirates managed 129 yards for the next 58 minutes and never got their pass-heavy spread offense running at full speed.

Carden threw for 158 yards on 19-for-31 passing, while the Pirates finished with just 46 yards on 23 rushing attempts. In addition, top receiving threat Justin Hardy had six catches for just 31 yards.

Thomas threw for 258 yards on 25-for-43 passing, while Trey Edmunds managed just 42 yards rushing.

Demitri Knowles also had a touchdown catch for Virginia Tech and finished with eight catches for 99 yards.

Washington Post:
Part of the problem was an offense that remains a work in progress.

At times Saturday, quarterback Logan Thomas appeared to develop a rhythm with wide receivers Demitri Knowles (eight catches, 99 yards) and Willie Byrn (seven catches, 63 yards), who both had career days.

He also passed Tyrod Taylor as Virginia Tech’s all-time leader in completions with a five-yard pass to Byrn late in the second quarter. Thomas finished the contest 25 of 43 for 258 yards but also threw his fourth interception of the season and had several careless throws that could have been turnovers.

“Maybe it’ll get more attractive as the year goes along,” Beamer said. “We’re not pretty yet.”

Friday, September 13, 2013

Fiona Apple - "Pure Imagination" (2013)

In 2001, Chipotle released a mission statement called Food With Integrity, which highlighted Chipotle's efforts to increase their use of naturally raised meat, organic produce, and dairy without added hormones. Almost all of meat served in Chipotle restaurants is naturally raised, defined by the company as "coming from animals that are never given antibiotics or added hormones and that are raised responsibly—that is, in accordance with our animal welfare standards." While Chipotle targets using only naturally raised chicken, beef, and pork in its restaurants, supply chain issues occasionally cause restaurants to switch to conventionally raised meat. Chipotle only uses the leg and thigh meat from its chickens; the breast meat is sold to Panera Bread. Approximately 40% of the beans are organically grown, and in 2011 approximately 5% of the beans will come from conservation tilling methods.

In 2009, Chipotle planned to serve over 60 million pounds (27 million kilograms) of naturally raised meat, more than any other restaurant company, and planned to use 75 million pounds in 2010. The company pledges to use more local produce when possible, using "35 percent of at least one of its produce items for every restaurant sourced from small and midsize local farms throughout the growing season" in 2009, and increasing to 50% in 2010. Chipotle advertises its support of family farms, such as Niman Ranch, a California "natural" meat producer that contracts with farms in the Midwest to raise pork and other livestock. All of the cheese and sour cream comes from cows that do not receive recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), and 30% of the dairy comes from open pasture cows. Founder Steve Ells has testified before Congress in support of the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act, which aims to reduce the amount of antibiotics given to farm animals.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

U.S. Men's National Team Qualifies for 2014 World Cup!

"The U.S. resumes 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying when it hosts Jamaica on Oct. 11 in Kansas City, Kan. Kickoff at Sporting Park is set for 5:30 p.m. CT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN, WatchESPN, UniMas and ESPN Deportes Radio. Four days later, the USA completes the Hexagonal when it faces Panama at Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City. Coverage on beIN SPORT begins at 10 p.m. ET."

U.S. Soccer:
COLUMBUS – In front of a raucous capacity crowd of 24,584 at Columbus Crew Stadium, the U.S. Men’s National Team defeated Mexico 2-0 in 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying to earn its berth to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

The victory, combined with Honduras tying Panama 2-2 in Tegucigalpa an hour later, provided the USA its seventh-consecutive FIFA World Cup berth and 10th overall.

USA vs. Mexico, presented by AT&T, was billed as the most anticipated match of the Hexagonal, and the U.S. did not disappoint. For the fourth-consecutive time during a World Cup Qualifying cycle, the USA defeated Mexico 2-0 at Crew Stadium.

“They’re experienced players, they’ve played these games before and they know what these games are about,” U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said of his team, which was playing without several key players to injury or yellow card accumulation. “I told them over the last couple days that I expect their leadership. I expect them to carry us through difficult moments, whatever happens.”

Eddie Johnson scored the 19th goal of his career and 12th tally in World Cup Qualifying, knifing through the center of the penalty area to smash home a header off a Landon Donovan corner kick in the 49th minute. Donovan clinched the game – and sealed the now-famous score line – in the 78th minute with the 57th goal of his U.S. career.

With the goal and an assist, Donovan broke his U.S. MNT points record for a calendar year with 24 in 2013 (eight goals, eight assists), besting his previous points mark of 22 in 2007 (nine goals, four assists).

The USA came with inches of winning 3-0, but captain Clint Dempsey struck a penalty kick just outside the right post in second half stoppage time after he was taken down in the right side of the penalty box following a nifty dribble.

The U.S. Men’s National team has set a new record for victories in a calendar year with 14, improving to 14-3-2 in 2013 and topping the previous record of 13 wins set in 2005 and 2009.

Mexico was playing its first match under Luis Fernando Tena, who replaced fired head coach Jose Manuel de la Torre. The visitors created the majority of the scoring chances in the first half but faded in the second half as the Americans turned up the pressure in front of a partisan, screaming crowd. Howard logged yet another game in which he led from the back, making three saves on the way to the clean sheet, the 32nd of his career, tied for second-most with 1990 and 1994 World Cup starter Tony Meola.

USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann moves to 25-9-6 since taking the coaching reins in 2011. He becomes the fifth USA coach to earn 25 victories, joining Bruce Arena (71-30-29), Bob Bradley (43-25-12), Bora Milutinovic (30-35-31) and Steve Sampson (26-22-14).

Since 2000, the USA has posted a 12-5-4 record against Mexico, including a 10-2-3 record at home during that span. The U.S. is now 17-32-13 all-time against Mexico.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Nadal Wins Second U.S. Open Title and 13th Major Overall

"This was their 37th match against each other, the most between any two men in the Open era, and Nadal has won 22. It also was their third head-to-head U.S. Open final in the last four years. Nadal beat Djokovic for the 2010 title, and Djokovic won their rematch in 2011."
Sports Illustrated:
No. 2 Rafael Nadal beat No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 on Monday to win his second U.S. Open title, 13th major overall and 10th title of the year. The Spaniard’s win, his 22nd straight on hard courts in 2013, moves him into sole possession of third place for Grand Slam titles, behind Roger Federer (17) and Pete Sampras (14).

Nadal, 27, skipped the tournament a year ago because of a knee injury. He took seven months off to rest and rehabilitate before returning to the tour in February. Since then, he’s gone 60-3.

“Probably only my team knows how much [the win] means for me,” Nadal said during the trophy presentation.

The final, which was highlighted by some incredible shot-making given the windy conditions, turned in the crucial third set. Djokovic looked firmly in control after securing an early break, but played a loose game at 3-2 to let Nadal back into the set. Despite being outplayed for most of the set, Nadal converted on his only two break chances to steal the set, and the 26-year-old Serb couldn’t recover.

“Playing against Novak always is a very special feeling,” Nadal said. “Probably nobody brings my game to the limit like Novak.”

Nadal hit 27 winners to 20 unforced errors, while Djokovic, who played the aggressor through much of the last three sets, pounded 46 winners to 53 unforced errors.

Djokovic, the 2011 U.S. Open champion and seven-time major winner, advanced to his seventh consecutive hard-court Grand Slam final with a five-set victory against Stanislas Wawrinka in the semifinals. The 26-year-old Serb trailed two sets to one before rallying in his first real test of the tournament, which included a four-set win over No. 21 Mikhail Youzhny in the quarterfinals and four routine wins against unseeded opponents.

Nadal, the 2010 U.S. Open champion, improved to 22-0 on hard courts and 60-3 overall in 2013, including at the French Open, which made him the first man with at least one Grand Slam trophy in nine consecutive seasons. The 27-year-old Spaniard had dropped one set at the U.S. Open, against No. 22 Philipp Kohlschreiber in the fourth round, and one service game, against No. 8 Richard Gasquet in the semifinals. The Frenchman won back-to-back five-setters to get there, outlasting No. 10 Milos Raonic in the fourth round and No. 4 David Ferrer in the quarterfinals.

“It’s always the biggest challenge that you can have in our sport now,” Djokovic said of beating Nadal, who is 59-3 this year. “He’s the ultimate competitor. He’s fighting for every ball and he’s playing probably the best tennis that he ever played on hard courts. … With no doubt he’s the best player in the moment this year.”

Djokovic has now lost in four of his last five Grand Slam finals, and fell to 1-3 against No. 2 Nadal this season. His No. 1 ranking, which he has held for the better part of the last two years, is now under immediate threat. Nadal has closed the point gap considerably on Djokovic during his incredible hard-court summer run, in which he won two ATP Masters 1000s and now the U.S. Open. With no points to defend through the remainder of the season, it’s only a matter of time before Nadal returns to the top spot.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Skream w/ Sam Frank - "Rollercoaster" (2013)

Skream (born Oliver Dene Jones, 1 June 1986) is a British electronic record producer based in Croydon. One of dubstep's most prominent producers, he has played an important role in the genre's development. His debut album Skream! was released in 2006, and was followed up by Outside the Box in 2010.

Skream began producing music at the age of 15 (using FruityLoops) and claims to now have roughly 800 songs in varying stages of development, including a number of early disco and funk-inspired records. Jones would regularly 'bunk' school and spend the day at Big Apple Records through his teenage years. On various occasions he would also go to FWD, an "underground-sound" club night which was originally held in the Velvet Rooms but later moved to Plastic People in Shoreditch.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

(W) Virginia Tech vs. Western Carolina

Trey Edmunds ran for two touchdowns and Detrick Bonner returned one of his two interceptions for a score as Virginia Tech rebounded from a season-opening loss to top-ranked Alabama by beating Western Carolina 45-3 Saturday.

The Hokies (1-1) got off to a sluggish start against the FCS Catamounts (0-2), now losers of 12 straight overall and 28 in a row against FBS competition. Bonner's 37-yard return off a deflection by teammate Kendall Fuller gave the Hokies a 7-0 lead in an otherwise lackluster first period.

But Hokies quarterback Logan Thomas, who was only 5 of 26 last week, finally hit his stride in the second quarter, leading touchdown drives of 87 and 69 yards. The first drive ended with the first of Edmunds' 1-yard touchdowns, the second with a 19-yard pass to D.J. Coles in the back of the end zone.

Thomas finished 17 of 31 for 200 yards, but it wasn't all smooth for the fifth-year senior. He had two passes intercepted in the end zone, the second one killing a threat just before halftime after Bonner's second pick and 35-yard yard return.

Catamounts quarterback Eddie Sullivan struggled against a fierce Hokies pass rush, throwing more interceptions (three) than completions (two) in the first half.

With the passing game doing more harm than good, Western Carolina went conservative after falling behind 21-0 at halftime. After Kyshoen Jarrett muffed a fair catch at the Hokies' 11, the Catamounts ran three times for minus-1 yard before settling for Richard Sigmon's 28-yard field goal.

Jarrett's blunder, which came when the ball glanced off his foot, was the lone blemish for Virginia Tech special teams that struggled in last week's 35-10 loss, giving up a punt return and kickoff return for touchdowns. This time the Hokies gave up little in the return game and downed two punts inside the Catamounts' 5.

Virginia Tech's receivers also caught the ball better than last week, when a bevy of drops contributed to Thomas' woes.

Edmunds finished with 68 yards on 15 carries, and redshirt freshman Chris Mangus had a 76-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to make it 28-0.

Joel Caleb, another redshirt freshman, ran 13 yards for the final touchdown.

Sullivan, who attempted only three passes in the second half despite the big deficit, finished 4-of-14 for 51 yards.

Virginia Tech finished with 462 total yards to Western Carolina's 162.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

(L) Virginia Tech vs. #1 Alabama

"In his college debut, Trey Edmunds rushed for 132 yards on 20 carries, breaking off a 77-yard touchdown run in the first quarter against an Alabama squad that has led the Southeastern Conference in total defense each of the past five seasons while winning the last two national titles. Edmunds is the first Virginia Tech freshman to top 100 rushing yards in his debut since 1996."
Washington Post:
For the first time in Coach Frank Beamer’s 27-year tenure, the Hokies allowed a kickoff return for a touchdown, a punt-return touchdown and an interception return for a touchdown in the same game. It was “Beamer Ball” at its worst, and the Crimson Tide cruised to a 35-10 victory at the sold-out stadium.

Alabama’s Christion Jones was the unlikely star of the night, scoring three touchdowns in three different ways. In the first quarter, he returned a punt 72 yards to the end zone. In the second quarter, he returned a kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown. The junior then capped off his evening with a 39-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter, beating Virginia Tech safety Desmond Frye with starter Kyshoen Jarrett sidelined by cramping.

Beamer said after the game the two special teams breakdowns were the result of using too many young players on his once-vaunted unit, and noted he would “absolutely” consider playing more veterans going forward.

“It’s no excuse. We’re gonna evaluate our personnel,” Beamer said. “The points that we gave them, it shouldn’t happen in a ballgame. Those were critical.”

Jones’ heroics masked what was otherwise a stellar performance by Virginia Tech’s defense. The Hokies kept Alabama’s vaunted rushing attack in check and held the Crimson Tide offense just two touchdown drives. Quarterback A.J. McCarron, the nation’s most efficient passer a year ago, completed 10 of 23 passes for 110 yards and also threw an interception.

The Hokies, shooting to rebound from a 7-6 season that was their worst since 1992, also struggled on offense under new coordinator Scot Loeffler.

Quarterback Logan Thomas completed only 5 of 26 pass attempts for 59 yards and threw a momentum-crushing interception that Crimson Tide safety Vinnie Sunseri returned for a touchdown early in the second quarter. Thomas was fooled by Alabama’s coverage, said Beamer, who called the play a “turning point” in the game.

But Thomas left the field “encouraged,” particularly with how Virginia Tech’s new offensive line held up. The Hokies actually outgained Alabama, 212-206.

"We have a lot of room to grow," cornerback Kyle Fuller said. "The score didn't reflect our play."

More information:
» Beamer Praises Alabama, But the Hokies Aren't Intimidated
» Fourth Fuller Brother to Suit Up for the Hokies